Man supplied cocaine at bar

While on parole for possession of cocaine with intent to supply, Osman Joel Bonilla supplied cocaine at a West Bay Road bar, Magistrate Nova Hall heard in Summary Court this week.

Bonilla, 28, pleaded guilty to the supply charge previously. On Monday, he pleaded to possession of two quantities of cocaine.

Crown Counsel Elisabeth Lees said officers were carrying out observations at the bar on the night of 5 March because they had information drugs were being sold and consumed there.

The officers saw Bonilla make what appeared to be a transaction. They approached him and requested a search. In his back pocket they found orange-coloured packages containing a white powder.

The officers then conducted a search at Bonilla’s residence. They found white powder in a small orange bag.

When analysed, the first quantity turned out to be 2.84 grams of cocaine; the second quantity was 2.63 grams, for a total of 5.37 grams.

Ms Lees said police also approached the man Bonilla had given something to at the bar. They recovered two orange-coloured bags from him. One had 0.248 gram of cocaine. She did not have a weight for the other. That man has been charged.

This was Bonilla’s third offence for trafficking, Ms Lees told the court. In 2002, he received a prison sentence of six months, three suspended, for possession with intent to supply. In 2004, he committed the same offence and received a term of five years.

Defence Attorney John Furniss said the man to whom Bonilla had handed something was Bonilla’s roommate. No money had changed hands and it was a non-commercial transaction. He accepted ‘handing over’ was supply in law.

Bonilla was paroled in November 2006, Mr. Furniss said. As a result of these new offences, his parole was revoked and he will have to do the full five years of that sentence. He will not complete it until August 2009.

Bonilla had been doing well after his release from prison, Mr. Furniss said. Then three things set him back. One was problems with his girl friend. The second was the murder of his cousin and the third was the death of a close friend in a traffic incident.

Bonilla relapsed and started using cocaine. On the night of his arrest he went out and in the course of the evening handed his roommate something.

Reminded that Bonilla’s urine sample was negative for cocaine, Mr. Furniss said the men were arrested before they used that night. Bonilla was not someone who used every day, the attorney explained.

He submitted there are different levels of sentence for different types of supply. The supply at the bar lacked any commercial aspect, he said. The quantities of cocaine Bonilla admitted had been charged as simple possession only, he emphasised. He asked for the sentence imposed to start from that day.

The magistrate said she accepted the supply was non-commercial, but it was still supply of a hard drug. An aggravating feature was the fact this was his third trafficking charge.

The charge did not assist with the amount of cocaine supplied, although there was some idea of the amount recovered from the roommate, the magistrate noted. She gave Bonilla credit for his guilty plea and cooperation. She also pointed out that sentencing guidelines make a distinction between cocaine powder and cocaine base.

For supplying cocaine, she imposed a term of 12 months starting that day and concurrent to the parole revocation. For the two charges of simple possession, she imposed nine months each.

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