Soft-drug dealer gets light sentence

POSTED: 01/10/13 12:49 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Orlando Lucas Hellemun to a 4-month suspended prison sentence and 60 hours of community service for dealing in marijuana between January 1 and November 19 of last year. The 27-year-old defendant was acquitted of the possession of a large number of marijuana plants in the garden behind the house where he lives. Hellemun denied that the plants were his and the court considered the charge on this point not clear enough.

When the police raided the house in November, 64 small bags containing marijuana and two larger bags were confiscated together with typical drug-dealer paraphernalia.

Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp noted that there is no proof that the defendant owned the plants in the garden, and that left the charge for dealing in the soft drug.

Taking away the notion that dealing in marijuana is not all that bad because everybody is using it anyway, the prosecutor said: It is not tolerated here and its leads to problems in the neighborhood.”

The defendant has a criminal record, but mr. van der Wulp said it would go too far to send him back to prison for this offense. She demanded a 6-month conditional prison sentence and 80 hours of community service with 2 years of probation.

Attorney Geert Hatzmann said that the prosecution and the court painted a picture of his client that is not correct. “Like he did not learn anything from his previous conviction and that he started as a drug dealer as soon as he was released. But when they searched his house they did not even find a water pistol, only a few packages of marijuana.”

mr. Hatzmann said that a 6-month conditional demand is high: “That is what you get for a severe ill-treatment. The community service could also be a bit less, like 40 hours.”

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