Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo ruled that when Lower Hope Hill resident, Norris Dickson entered the British Virgin Islands from the US Virgin Islands on June 29, 2018, with $97,050, they were proceeds of criminal conduct.
As such, she sentenced Dickson to spend nine months at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut following his appearance at the John’s Hole-based court on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
Dickson, who was represented by defence attorney Stephen Daniels, pleaded not guilty to the charge and so, a trial was held where he was later found to be guilty.
The Crown indicated that Dickson was on his way back from the United States Virgin Islands on June 29, 2018, but instead of stopping at the nearest port in West End, he sped past it, causing him to look suspicious.
Officers from the Immigration and Customs department on duty subsequently followed his vessel to a dock located in West End where he was questioned about his actions.
Dickson reportedly replied that he wanted to return to Road Town to check in as he had checked out from there, but he was experiencing engine trouble.
He also informed the officers when asked if he had anything to declare, that he had $80,000 in his possession.
However, when the cash was tallied, it came to $97,050.
Onboard, he also had two persons – one from St Lucia and another from the USVI with an expired passport. When questioned about them, he said he was giving them a ride, and did not know them personally.
Dickson was subsequently charged for the offence of proceeds of criminal conduct.
Despite his attempt during the trial to prove the funds were legitimate, there were inconsistencies, the court ruled.
Magistrate DaBreo then informed him that the funds would be forfeited to the state.