Garfield Spence, an American visitor who was apprehended at Owen Roberts International Airport on Saturday, pleaded guilty in Summary Court Wednesday to importation of ganja.
The court heard that Mr. Spence, who is employed as a ramp agent with American Eagle, an affiliate of American Airlines, was arrested Saturday with 5.8 ounces of ganja in his backpack. Crown counsel Scott Wainwright said in court Tuesday that the ganja had a street value of $4,000.
Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson indicated Wednesday that there may be further charges forthcoming related to the defendant’s text message communications with an unidentified Cayman resident. Those messages, said Mr. Ferguson, indicate that there may have been a conspiracy to import ganja.
Defense attorney Crister Brady made an application for bail on Wednesday. Mr. Brady said that Mr. Spence’s mother lives in Cayman, and that he could stay with her and report to police as necessary in the time remaining before his sentencing for the importation of ganja.
Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn advised the defendant that he is facing a custodial sentence for importation of ganja and that it could be “quite a significant sentence,” depending on the issuance of further charges in relation to conspiracy. The magistrate denied Mr. Spence’s bail application Wednesday and said she was concerned that he could interfere with the investigation by contacting people.
Magistrate Gunn also noted that there was a risk of the defendant failing to surrender to custody.
The magistrate ordered a social inquiry report to be made and noted that it will take six to eight weeks to process. Mr. Spence is expected back in court for sentencing on Dec. 12.