Accused of selling cannabis

He was arrested in July 2016 by the gendarmes during an inspection in Sandy Ground.

He was seated in a chair with acquaintances in Sandy Ground when the gendarmes arrived on patrol. They requested his identity, but he did not have his papers with him. They found €1400 in cash on his person, slid into his shoulder bag. He explained that he had wanted to go to the post office to make a transfer for the mother of his child who is living in France, but it was too crowded. He also explained that he was seeking lodgings in Sandy Ground and that he wanted to show the owner that he would be able to pay.

The gendarmes had difficulty believing his stories, as they also found narcotic substances around him. Small bags of cannabis were discovered hidden in the wheel of a car parked nearby, and others were then found under the chair where his friend was seated.

He and his friend were brought to the gendarmerie for a hearing, but he was the only one to be prosecuted. He appeared before the Saint-Martin criminal court for possession and sale of narcotics. He confessed to consuming cannabis, but in court, he continued to deny trafficking.

His lawyer demonstrated that it was too easy to accuse her client of drug trafficking on the sole pretext that he had a large sum of money on him and that he had been found in a location known for street dealing in Sandy Ground. "Nothing proves that the money came from drug trafficking," repeated Ms. Lacassagne. "If my client had anything to hide, he would have left when he saw the gendarmes arrive. This is what you say to defendants every time: why did you run if you had nothing to hide! That day, my client stayed," commented the lawyer. And she specified that her client’s €1400 came from his work. "It’s true that it is a large sum of money, but he is in the habit of making withdrawals at the ATM," she remarked, showing recent bank statements.

Another element that led to the accusation of this thirty-year-old man, in this case, is the nature of the plastic bag. The bag where his money was found is identical to those in which the cannabis was found. "The tri-color edging is identical," noted the prosecutor. "These bags are freezer bags, and we all have the same ones. They are the same bags, for example, that we use for our liquids when we take the plane," replied the lawyer.

After deliberations, the court acquitted the young man

Estelle Gasnet