Crime — 11 April 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
$10,000 fine for mother of 5, for “drug trafficking”

A Belize City woman who pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today was fined the mandatory minimum sentence of $10,000.

Smith ordered her to pay $5,000 immediately; in default, she will have to begin serving the three-year prison sentence the offense carries.

The woman, Roshawn Higgs, 35, a domestic of #6 -7th Street, Kings Park, who is the mother of five children, the youngest being one-year old, is a first-time offender.

In court, an unrepresented Higgs said she was guilty of possession, but the Chief Magistrate told her that the charge before the court was for drug trafficking.

When Smith asked her to enter a plea, Higgs pleaded guilty to the one count of drug trafficking.

Higgs was arrested and charged after a police search of her home on Tuesday, April 8, led to the discovery of the 150 grams of cannabis.

According to the police report of the incident, around 5:30 p.m., PC Carl Garbutt was on patrol in the Kings Park area.

Garbutt searched a dark-skinned man who was standing under a tree in a yard. The search, however, did not yield anything incriminating on the man.

But then Garbutt reported that he saw a woman standing by the door of a house in the yard, and she was acting suspiciously, so he decided that he would search her house for illegal firearms and drugs.

During the search of Higgs’ room, Garbutt found a barrel and inside it was a blue container with three plastic bags. The bags contained a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis.

Garbutt said he cautioned Higgs before arresting her, and took her to the police station where the suspected cannabis was weighed in her presence, and it amounted to 150 grams, which is less than a half pound of weed.

Higgs was unable to pay the $5,000 fine and was sent to Belize Central Prison to begin serving her sentence. If she can pay the $5,000 fine, however, she will be released and can seek an extension from the court for payment of the other $5,000.

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