Woman held 15 years ago with gun …”JAILED FOR 14 YEARS”

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There has been an increase in the flow of sophisticated weapons into this country, mostly from neighbouring Venezuela.

Police have also increased the seizure of guns and ammunition and arrested many people. But judges and magistrates have been lenient on those found guilty. Small jail terms and fines. Many of these people have returned to society and continued with their illegal trade.

But a former State prosecutor turned judge, pressed the button and sent a woman to jail for 14 years for having a gun and marijuana.

Joeann Walters, 42, a mini mart owner, was jailed on Wednesday by Justice Maria Wilson in the San Fernando High Court. Three months ago, Walters was found guilty of having drugs for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the gun and six rounds of ammunition.

Walters was arrested on December 16, 2003. State prosecutor Sabrina Dougdeen- Jaglal told the court, at about 5 am that day Walters was driving a maroon Mitsubishi Lancer near Claxton Bay when she was stopped by police.

The car was searched and police found the gun. Four large bags with marijuana were found in the back seat and trunk. The court also heard there were two men in the car. They were all charged jointly. One of the men died in 2014, and a bench warrant has been issued for the other.

In passing sentence, Wilson said: “While there are no identifiable victims, the drug trade has an effect on citizens. This can give a negative image to investors.”

She also commented on the length of time the matter took before it reached trial and described it as unacceptable. This she considered a mitigating factor . Wilson said the sentence started at 18 years.

After taking into account the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the sentence was reduced to 14 years on the marijuana charge.

For the gun and ammunition, Walters was sentenced to five years with hard labour on each charge.
The judge ordered all sentences to run concurrently so Walters would only serve 14 years in jail.

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Joeann Walters

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