Ganja costs Martinois community service

POSTED: 10/17/14 4:03 PM

St. Maarten – A 27-year-old Martinois who raced away from the police on July 18 and who was found in the possession of 201 grams of marijuana received a 6-week conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation in the Court in First Instance yesterday.

Raphael Edwardo Hanson was driving on the L.B. Scott Road when he spotted the police. He drove away at high speed, according to the police officers in a dangerous way, whereby he ended up on the left side of the road where another motorist had to maneuver to avoid an accident.

The chase ended when Hanson ran his car into a pile of sand. That is where officers saw that he threw something out of the window. On the spot, they found a package with 201 grams of marijuana, or ganja.

Hanson denied he had thrown something out of the window and told the court he wanted to get away from the police because he had a joint in his car. “That is why I drove so fast,” he said. “That package of marijuana could be from somebody else, there were other people on the scene who walked away.”

Prosecutor Tineke Kamps did not buy the story. She found proof that Hanson had the 201 grams of marijuana in his possession, that he had driven recklessly and that he had ignored an order from the police to stop.

For the latter two facts, Kamps demanded two times 250 guilders in fines. For the soft drugs possession she demanded a 6-week conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation.

Hanson has a previous sentence of 3 years imprisonment (of which 2 years conditional) for a crime of which the court did not disclose any details.

Judge Rick Smid showed some leniency. He did not believe that the marijuana belonged to someone else and he found the charges for driving recklessly and ignoring the stop-order proven. The judge sentenced Hanson to a 6-week conditional sentence with 2 years of probation, 60 hours of community service and two wholly conditional fines of 250 guilders each.

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