Windhoek-A sixty-nine-year-old pensioner was sentenced to six years behind bars for dealing in cannabis (dagga) weighing 5kg.
John David Toto was found guilty last month in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court for dealing in dependence-producing substances about eight years ago. He was found in possession of 300 parcels containing cannabis with a street value of N$225,000 at the time.
Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi sentenced the pensioner to nine years imprisonment, of which three years were suspended for five years on condition that Toto is not convicted of dealing in cannabis, or any dependence-producing drug, during the period of suspension of sentence.
In addition to the imprisonment, the court ordered that the drugs found in Toto’s possession on the day he was arrested and the Volkswagen Passat 1985 model that he was driving be forfeited to the State.
Toto was arrested on October 29, 2009 at a roadblock in Moses Garoeb Road in the vicinity of Otjomuise, Windhoek while in the process of transporting the cannabis. The police at the roadblock, following an inspection of the car, discovered three bags stacked with 300 parcels of cannabis.
The investigating officer, Tjiarondo Mberuiana, during the trial informed the court they had received an anonymous tip-off that Toto would be picking up drugs from a house in Otjomuise. Through their investigations it turned out to be true, since after a few hours of observing the house Toto arrived for the pick-up, and was seen carrying the bags to his car and driving off.
Toto however denied guilt in reference to the charge. In conflicting statements he indicated he had had no idea that when his friend in South Africa had asked him to pick up something from the house as a favour, the bags contained drugs.
He explained that he had picked up boxes and not bags that only contained jackets and not cannabis.
In a different version he explained that his friend could not pick up the bags himself as his car had broken down. All versions were however thrown out leaving the court to find Toto guilty of dealing in dependence-producing drugs.