Darien Banks convicted of drug trafficking Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 March 2012 00:00

Darien BanksDarien Banks was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment after being found guilty of drug trafficking in Magistrate’s Court on Monday March 26th.

Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer sentenced Banks to 3 years imprisonment and fined $10,000 with an additional $5.00 cost of court which he has until June 30th to pay.  If he defaults an additional three years imprisonment will be levied.

Banks, 33, along with his wife, Desiree Banks, 35, had been jointly charged with keeping prohibited firearm and ammunitions and drug trafficking. In court however, only Darien Banks was found guilty of drug trafficking while his wife, who was not present in court due to illness was acquitted of the charge of drug trafficking.

 It had been ruled previously that the two did not have to answer to the charges of keeping prohibited firearms and ammunition.

On November 16, 2010, at about 6:45 a.m., police visited the couple’s home where they claim they found an AR-15 rifle along with 42 rounds of ammunition.  They also claimed that they found 26.5 pounds of marijuana.

The case of possession of a prohibited firearm was thrown out after the Belize Police Department’s force armourer, Orlando Vera, was not present in the country to testify in court regarding the firearm and ammunition during the trial.

In mitigation plea, Banks maintained his innocence and claimed that he had no knowledge of the bag of weed being up on top of his roof. He said that his home is accessible by the river and that people have access to his yard since it is not enclosed. But, the Senior Magistrate told him that the reason why she found him guilty and not his wife is because he, being the owner of the house, must have had knowledge of the bag of weed being on top of his roof.

In finding him guilty, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer also told Banks that after she went through the entire evidence of the case from both sides, the prosecution and the defense, she did believe him and his wife when they said that they were not present when the police officer, Ryan Young found the bag of weed tied up on their roof, but, she believed that the officer did find the weed on top of his roof. She also added that there is no way she believed that the police officer, Ryan Young brought the bag of weed in such a large quantity and planted it. She concluded by saying that with such a quantity of marijuana, no other person could have come and placed it there on his roof top without him having knowledge of it.

The minimum penalty for drug trafficking is 3 years and a $10,000 fine and since Banks has three previous convictions for possession of a controlled drug, she could not just impose a fine.