21 May 2013

Zambia: American Gets 12 Months for Cannabis Trafficking

AN American Peace Corps volunteer has been sentenced to 12 months simple imprisonment for trafficking in cannabis which was found on her at a lodge in Chipata last week.

Jacqueline Frances Walsh, 24, who was based at Kozele village in Chadiza District, will spend the next one year in prison after she was convicted by Chipata Magistrate Sanford Ngobola.

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) arrested Walsh on Thursday last week in Chipata after she was found with 313 grammes of marijuana, a herbal product of cannabis sativa.

In mitigation through her lawyer Andrew Chewe of Nchito Advocates, Walsh pleaded with the court to exercise lenience, saying she was a first offender.

The defence lawyer said her client did not waste the court's time, adding that she was remorseful about what had transpired.

Mr Chewe said the offence committed by his client was liable for deportation under the Immigration and deportation Act or liable to imprisonment because she was a foreign national.

He said if deported, his client was liable to suffer for the rest of her life because the American Government and other organisations do not employ such people.

He said the offence committed by the accused was also illegible in the United States of America.

Walsh had been working with the community in Chadiza District since January 24, last year.

In passing judgment, Mr Ngobola warned the convict not to commit a similar offence within a year because she would end up being jailed for many years.

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