A taxi driver appeared in Magistrates' Court (pictured) after being caught with $13,200 worth of crack. *File photo
A taxi driver appeared in Magistrates' Court (pictured) after being caught with $13,200 worth of crack. *File photo

MONDAY, JAN. 23: A taxi driver who was found with 42 grams of crack cocaine in his taxi was today remanded into custody pending sentencing.

Hewvonnie Brown, 37, pleaded guilty to possession of $13,200 worth of cocaine, with intent to supply, in an increased penalty zone in Pembroke.

Brown further admitted that $52,470 in his possession was the product of criminal conduct.

Magistrates’ Court heard today that officers were in an unmarked car at 11am on March 21 last year, acting on information received that the defendant was selling drugs out of his taxi.

Crown counsel Cindy Clarke said: “At that time, officers observed the 37-year-old defendant exit the Island Taxi Service located at 52 North Street, Pembroke wearing a black backpack, get into the driver’s side of a silver Toyota taxi van registered to the defendant.”

The court heard that another man got into the car and officers followed the taxi around the block but noticed it was moving very slow and that it stopped at one point.

Ms Clarke said the taxi then returned to its original spot, picked up a female and continued on Court Street

Officers then pulled the taxi over at the junction of Court and Front Streets.

“The driver of the police car approached the defendant on the driver’s side.

“The officer immediately noticed that the defendant had a panicked look on his face.

“His eyes were wide open and he was fidgeting in his seat.

“He appeared to be reaching in his pockets, but upon loud command of the officer, he unlocked and opened the door.”

Mr Clarke said Brown protested when told he would be searched but eventually calmed down.

During the search, officers found a clear plastic twist containing a rock-like substance in his left jacket pocket.

Brown was then arrested and his black backpack was seized.

At Hamilton Police Station, officers searched the black bag and a large quantity of cash was found in a plastic bag.

“The cash was packaged in 16 stacks of various denominations and wrapped with elastic band”, Ms Clarke said.

The court also heard his wallet was searched and a large amount of cash was also found.

Officers searched the taxi and found a black and silver digital scale and a clear plastic twist containing white paper and a hard rock-like substance inside.

Officers also seized a yellow box of clear Ziploc bags and a razor blade.

The following day, Brown was interviewed and said “no comment”.

The amount of money was counted in front of him and totalled $52,470.

Ms Clarke said the rock in his pocket was 14.9 grams of cocaine freebase — or crack — and the rock in the car was 27.4 grams of cocaine freebase.

The street value is $13,200.

Brown was remanded into custody pending reports.