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July 18, 2014
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Correctional officer freed of drug charges
Rasbert Turner, Star Writer

A correctional officer was freed of drug charges in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday, following a successful application by his lawyer.

Charged with breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act is Michael Stewart, 49, acting staff officer at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre.

When the matter came up in the Spanish Town RM Court, defence attorney, Courtney Maxwell, submitted to the court that Stewart did not have a case to answer.

"Your Honour, there is nothing to prove that my client knew there was drug inside of the container which was later retrieved from a cell at the prison," Maxwell said.

He said that his client was not guilty of any wrong and should be allowed to go back to work.

Resident Magistrate Anmarie Nembhard then ordered that Stewart be freed. However, two prisoners, Devon Watkins and Bryan Lettman, who were also charged in connection with the same incident, were remanded until August 29.

Allegations are that on February 17, 2014, Stewart was on duty at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre, when he allegedly placed a container under a piece of concrete. Surveillance camera reportedly saw Lettman picked up the container and took it to his cell.

A search was conducted some 10 minutes later at the cells and ganja weighing more than two pounds were found. Both Lettman and Watkins were charged with possession of ganja .

Investigations later led to the arrest and charge of Stewart with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and trafficking ganja.

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