A mother and daughter duo was on Wednesday afternoon, November 28, sentenced to a total fine of $5500 after they told Magistrate Shawn Innocent that they were just holding the drugs they were caught with for a third party.
Fifty-three year-old Emerald Gumbs and her 21 year-old daughter Chenelle Castello, both pleaded guilty to charges in relation to the possession of marijuana with the intent to supply.
Gumbs’ charge read that on August 24, at Johnson’s Ghut, she had 124.6 grams of cannabis in her possession.
Castello was charged with the possession of 165.1 grams.
They were also slapped with charges of possession with the intent to supply.
According to the prosecution facts, on the day in question, acting on an investigation, the Police went to Gumbs’ residence where she lives with her daughter and several other persons.
They conducted a search and found a brown paper bag in the living room, which emitted the scent of cannabis. Checks revealed that the bag contained the drug, and when questioned, the mother told the officers, “It's mine…someone gave it to me to hold for them.”
She was arrested and the search continued.
Moments later, a blue travel bag was found, which contained a quantity of marijuana separated into dime bags, empty dime bags, a digital scale, a roll of clear tape and $778, along with two boxes of glad freezer bags.
Gumbs denied knowledge of this parcel; however, her daughter told the Police, “This is mine…somebody gave me this to hold for them.”
The total street value of the drugs was said to be $2897.
Later, when questioned by Police Officers, the duo both denied knowing what the contents of the bags were, insisting that they were keeping them for someone.
The 21 year-old initially told the officers that she knows the person very well, but later changed her story, saying “not that well.”
A Mother’s Love?
During their court appearance, the unemployed mother told the Magistrate that she has two children and grandchildren, and has never committed an offense before.
“Why would you do something like that?” the Magistrate questioned.
“I was doing it as a favour,” she stated, later adding, “It was a big mistake.”
The Magistrate asked her about her son, who she said is 27 years-old. He then said that he believes the mother had accepted the blame to help somebody else.
“There is a great length that a mother’s love goes,” he stated, adding, “I am not stupid.”
He was also appalled when she admitted that there were minors in the house where the drugs were found.
“I don't blame you for wanting to protect your children,” he told her; however, he chastised her for embarrassing herself and her standing in the community.
Turning to the daughter, who currently works at Delta Gas Station, the Magistrate asked about who she was allegedly holding the drugs for.
The young lady remained tight-lipped, which led to her receiving some choice advice from the lawman.
“If you’re stupid and want to do man a favour…when you get locked up, there ain't got no man here…Whoever you were holding it for, I hope they are grateful.”
He told her based on his judgement, she does not appear to be a young woman that uses the drug. The Magistrate also reminded her of the stain on her criminal record that these charges have imprinted, and the impact that it will have on her future employment prospects.
The 53 year-old mother was slapped with a $2500 fine with a default three month prison sentence, while her daughter was fined $3000 with the same alternative.