The trial of Troy Pearson, who is accused of importation of ganja with intent to supply and assault on two uniformed officers, began Wednesday in Summary Court.
Pearson was found at a Prospect home that was the subject of a police raid on May 22. He escaped custody after scuffling with a police officer and a customs officer who stood in his path.
He has pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and escaping lawful custody, but denies charges of assault on the two officers, as well as importation and intent to supply ganja.
Crown counsel Scott Wainwright delivered the facts of the case Wednesday morning. He said that 108 pounds of ganja were found at the home. The ganja was stashed in buckets and plastic bags and it filled the sitting room and a bedroom in the home.
Gregory Banks, a senior detective constable, testified Wednesday that police were executing a search warrant at the home when they encountered an “overwhelming scent of ganja.”
Mr. Banks said the police officers entered the home and encountered two men – one of whom was Pearson – who were attempting to exit through the back door.
Pearson initially complied with orders, said Mr. Banks, but then he “jumped up and ran away” toward the front door.
A customs officer met him in the doorway, and after a scuffle that saw them both go to the ground, Pearson attempted to escape.
The customs officer testified that he tried to grab Pearson in a bear hug and that the suspect hit him in the face with his shoulder. The officer suffered two scratches to the cornea in his right eye as a result of the struggle.
Pearson leapt up and was confronted by a detective constable who attempted to grab him and advised him he was under arrest for assaulting an officer, but he shook free and ran away, the court heard.
Pearson escaped and was later the subject of a police manhunt. He subsequently turned himself in to authorities.
His initial police interview was played Wednesday afternoon and read into evidence. Pearson claimed he was at the home to purchase ganja and not to sell it, but Mr. Wainwright said the defendant’s right middle fingerprint was found on a bucket in the bedroom.
The bulk of the ganja, according to Mr. Banks, was “highly visible” in the sitting room upon entry. Mr. Wainwright said that Pearson would have had to pass “a mountain of ganja” to leave a fingerprint in the bedroom.
The other suspect in the raid, Christopher Baker, pleaded guilty to illegal landing, importation of ganja and possession of ganja with intent to supply in June.
Following the lunch break, Pearson’s defense counsel, Nicholas Dixey, made a submission of no case to answer to Acting Magistrate Grace Donalds, who said she would make a ruling on the submission when Pearson next appears in court on Nov. 1.
Mr. Dixey said he believes that the Crown was unable to prove importation or intent to sell ganja. He added that the alleged assaults on the officers were committed in the act of resisting arrest, a charge to which Pearson has already pleaded guilty.