After Joycelyn Searles — a Virgin Islands calypsonian who performs as “Sistah Joyce” — was apprehended at the Road Town Ferry Terminal, she came clean and told police she had purchased $1,400 worth of cannabis that she planned to sell, according to prosecutors.

Ms. Searles, who pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply in July, was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for three years in Magistrates’ Court Tuesday. She’ll go free for now, but if she has any brushes with the law in the next three years she likely will have to serve the time.

The defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of $40,000 for the offence. By way of instalments, the sum is to be paid no later than Dec. 31 or she will serve six months in prison, Senior Magistrate Valerie Stephens ruled.

At the time of her arrest Ms. Searles, a 41-year-old resident of Virgin Gorda, was in possession of 452 grams of cannabis, roughly one pound, prosecutors said.

“I would really love to apologise to the court for breaking the law, to my kids, my family and my friends,” she said.

See the Sept. 13, 2012 edition for full coverage.


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