A 20-year-old man who attempted to export cocaine to the United States back in 2016 was spared jail time by Port-of-Spain Magistrate Rehanna Hosein yesterday.
The Court considered that Bradly Ragoonanan was just 16 when he committed the offence and he previously had a clean criminal record. After finding Ragoonanan guilty, Hosein placed him on a $300,000 bond with the condition that he keeps the peace and exercise good behaviour for the next three years.
The Court heard that on August 9 2016, Customs and Excise officer Kerrol Murray and other officers went to DHL Shipping and Logistics in El Soccoro. Estate Constable Kishore Deonarine, assigned to Pentagon Security Services, handed over a yellow cardboard box with a DHL sticker attached. Inside the box were several plastic bottles of channa and shipping documents signed by Ragoonanan.
When the officers arrived, Ragoonanan already left the courier service. When the officers scanned the package, they found 12 bottles of channa in a box containing 580 grains. The package also contained 1088.67 grammes of cocaine worth an estimated $400,000.
Ragoonanan was arrested, charged and interviewed in the presence of his parents.
During the trial, the prosecution presented the card box board and other evidence. Kassie said the offence carried a minimum fine of $50,000 or three times the value of the goods or imprisonment for eight years. The defence alleged that a stranger gave Ragoonanan the package to export and that the teen did not know what was inside.
But when the matter resumed yesterday, Ragoonanan’s attorney Criston Williams made a no-case submission.
Although the prosecution objected, it noted Ragoonanan’s age and that he had no previous criminal conviction.
Hosein overruled the no-case submission and found Ragoonanan guilty.