THE passage of time posed some difficulty yesterday for a retired police sergeant and attorneys in their attempt to identify markings placed on several packages of marijuana by an analyst at the Forensic Sciences Centre, St James, just over 13 years ago.
Several of the markings were faded and there were visible signs of disintegration with most of the packages.
On trial for having in their possession 278 kilogrammes of marijuana, wrapped in 92 packages, and 11 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking are 44-year-old farmer Dexter Brown and 34-year-old Neisha Outram, with whom Brown had once shared a relationship.
The trial is being heard before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas and a nine-member jury, with four alternates, in the Fifth Criminal Assizes at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain.
Testifying yesterday was retired sergeant Neville White who, on October 6, 1999, was in charge of the Northern Division Task Force based at the Arima Police Station.
White told the court he and a team of police officers obtained a warrant and went to Brown's home at Brazil Road, Wallerfield, around 11.55 a.m. He said he and another officer approached the house and he (White) took up a position by a window.
"I peeped into the house and I saw two occupants in that house about ten feet away," White said.
"They were seated close together on a chair. I observed (Brown) eating fried chicken from a box and I observed (Outram) get up."
White said he saw several packages on the ground and a scale nearby.
"She (Outram) took up one parcel and placed it on the scale. I heard (Brown) say: 'Dat heavy girl'.
"I then heard (Outram) whisper: 'Dexter, look somebody peeping.'"
White said Brown was ordered to open the door and all the officers entered the house. The packages were seized and US$500, EC$20 and TT$44 was allegedly found on Brown.
The couple were arrested and taken to the Arima Police Station, where they were charged.
At the close of the day's proceedings yesterday, 63 packages of marijuana were admitted into evidence by the court.
Leading evidence on behalf of the State are attorneys Jennifer Martin and Sunita Ramjattan; while Brown is being represented by attorneys Ravi Rajcoomar and Dr Winston Estevour.
Outram is being represented by attorneys John Heath and Imran Juman.
The trial continues today.