Three people, including an eight month pregnant woman held in south Trinidad during the state of emergency exercises on Wednesday, have appeared in court on marijuana trafficking charges. Yesterday, eight month pregnant Melissa Pharan, together with her 50 year-old mother, Marilyn, and 22 year-old neighbour Emmanuel Lewis, appeared before San Fernando Second Court Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds charged with the August 24 offence. The trio are jointly charged with having 119 grammes of marijuana in their possession at Naparima Mayaro Road, Mon Repos, for the purpose of trafficking. They were charged by WPC Subero. Pharan and Lewis pleaded not guilty to the charge. However, the woman's mother Marilyn pleaded guilty.
The 50 year-old was fined $3,000 with an alternative of four months' hard labour. She was ordered to pay $1,000 forthwith. She has been given three weeks to pay the difference. Police prosecutor Sgt Rudy Ali told the court that around 11.15 am Subero was on patrol exercise duty at Building 5, apartment 9 at Mon Repos when she encountered Marilyn. She told the woman that she had information and with the woman present searched her apartment for firearms and ammunition. The officer found a green plastic bag in a green plastic container with 45 packets of marijuana. When asked what she had to say, Marilyn said, "The police say they was on exercise." She said she had no previous convictions.
Attorney Brian Nedd applied for bail on Lewis's behalf. He said the 22 year-old labourer had one conviction for marijuana trafficking and he pleaded guilty. Lewis, he said, paid a $3,000 fine. Sgt Ali did not object to bail. However, he asked that conditions be set and the amount be substantial. Ramsumair-Hinds placed the man on $60,000 bail to be approved by a Clerk of the Peace. She also ordered that he report to the Mon Repos police on Fridays and Saturdays between 6 am and 8 pm.
Pharan, who is on $30,000 bail, told the court her delivery date is September 21.
She will reappear in court on November 1. Lewis was ordered to return to court on September 22.