Guyana’s Infrastructure Minister “Shocked” at Brother’s Drug Arrest in Grenada

Derrick Patterson being escorted to court

But Says He Must Take Full Responsibility for Actions

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, says while he and his family remain ‘shocked’ at the arrest of his 47-year-old brother in Grenada on drugs-related charges, they have no reason to “believe that he will not be treated fairly by the Grenadian legal system”.

Derrick Patterson, an evaluation supervisor, is due to re-appear in court on May 24, charged with trafficking of a controlled drug. It is alleged that 2.325 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of EC$232,500 was found in his possession last week.

Patterson was arrested by members of the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) when they intercepted a vehicle in which he was travelling on May 2. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court and is being represented by Guyanese attorney, Darshan Ramdhanny.

In a statement issued here on Thursday night, Patterson said that while members of my family were shocked to learn of Derrick’s arrest, they are “deeply distressed and concerned and are anxious to learn the full details of this unpleasant development.

“Our position is that Derrick is a matured adult of 47 years and he must bear full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Neither I nor any other member of my family can take responsibility for his own, deliberate actions.”

He said while the family members “hold out hope that there may have been a mistake, he must face the consequences if he is found guilty in a court of law,” adding “we have no reason to believe that he will not be treated fairly by the Grenadian legal system.

“As a family, we will give him all support we legally can, but we will not condone any proven illegal conduct. I believe that every reasonable member of the public would understand our position.”

Patterson said that as a government minister, he wanted to assure the Guyanese public that “I have not and will not attempt to influence the outcome of these serious allegations made against my brother in any way whatsoever.

“This is the principled position which I firmly embrace and ought to be a lesson to many under a previous dispensation who, it is widely known, regularly interfered with the course of justice in matters involving their family members, friends and even acquaintances.

“To those who have already sought to exploit this matter to score political points I wish to advise that I will play no part in contributing to that effort. Their attempts are nothing more than an attempt to detract attention from the work this government has been doing to develop a prosperous Guyana.”

Patterson said that having provided these assurances, he does “not intend to provide a running commentary on every development that follows in this matter or to respond to every attack from political detractors.

“The infrastructural challenges facing this country that this coalition government inherited are real and I intend to continue to focus my energies and attention on the job I have been doing for the past three years on behalf of the people of Guyana – planning and building for the bright future awaiting them.”

Patterson said that he wanted to thank members of the public across Guyana, diaspora and the political divide “who have reached out to me to personally offer me their support and solidarity at this sensitive time for my family and I”. – CMC