Man caught with 84 drug sachets pleads not guilty

The man, who was caught selling drugs by community police, fled on foot when told a search would be carried on his person

File photo
File photo

33-year-old Massimo Grixti from Valletta pleaded not guilty to drug charges on Sunday.

Grixti was arrested on Saturday morning by community policy after he was spotted handing over suspicious packets to a third-party.

The incident happened in Triq il-Ħġejjeġ, St Paul’s Bay, at 8.25am when police officers who were patrolling the area spotted the accused handing over packets to another person.

He was asked to handover his ID card, but when told he would be searched, fled on foot. The police officers caught him in Triq iċ-Ċern.

A search yielded 51 sachets of cocaine and 33 sachets of heroin inside his bag.

He was charged in court on Sunday morning with possessing the drugs in circumstances indicating that they were not intended solely for personal use and disobeying legitimate orders.

Grixti was also charged with violently resisting police arrest, insulting and threatening an officer and injuring him.

His lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb requested bail, arguing the drugs found on his person were not quantified and could turn out to be a smaller amount than declared in court.

It was also revealed in court that when giving his statement to the police, the accused had admitted he had a drug problem.

The Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act states that if the accused is found guilty while having a drug problem, he should not be given a prison sentence. In Sunday’s case, the defence argued there was no circumstance to exclude the accused from being tried before a Drugs Court.

The prosecution replied by saying the amount found on the accused could easily be disseminated among other people.

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech declared a decree would be delivered in chambers.

Inspector Ryan Vella prosecuted.  Lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb were defence counsel.