A Venezuela National is now serving six months at Her Majesty’s Prison and when that sentence is completed he would be on the next available flight back to his native land, expense to be undertaken by him.
Although he indicated to the court that he cannot speak English and therefore the court had to use an interpreter in the person of an immigration officer, to translate the charge to him, Jesus Lopez pleaded guilty to money laundering and entering the state of Grenada without the consent of an immigration officer.
When the accused was apprehended by law enforcement officers in a house in the village of La Poterie over the weekend, following a tip-off, he was found with over twenty-six thousand five hundred United States dollars in his possession. The court forfeited the money.
Attorney-at-law Richie Maitland who told the court that his client is the father of two children and he was in the process of helping his family, as the reason being here, represented the accused.
Maitland denied to the court a claim from the prosecutor that in an interview with the accused he admitted that the money was intended to purchase drugs. Maitland told the court that he has documents from the prosecutor and nowhere on those documents had his client ever admitted that the money was for that purpose.
Maitland told the court that Venezuela currently is in a state of disaster with economic meltdown, taking place there. Persons cannot even get goods in the shop to purchase and this resulted in his client’s action. The attorney said he knows that the state of Grenada is now over twenty thousand US dollars richer, with the money found on his client. He, therefore, asked that his client not be given a custodial sentence but allowed to be reunited with his family. He asked the court have him deported instead and not give him a custodial sentence.
Magistrate Nevelyn John, on the other hand, did not accede to Maitland’s request of a non-custodial sentence and therefore in applying the law, the accused was sentenced to six months jail and would be deported on release.