Grand Bay man charged with firearm & ammunition offences denied bail; Belvue Chopin man pleads guilty to importation of ammunition

The 15 firearms which were seized

A Grand Bay man has been denied bail and is now remanded in custody at the Dominica State Prison after the police brought several charges against him for the importation and trafficking of firearms and ammunition.

On February 3, 2022, at the Woodbridge Bay Port in Fond Cole, fifteen firearms, 12 magazines and 964 live rounds of ammunition hidden in several items in a cargo container on the port were recovered by members of the Customs and Excise division during a routine check at the Port.

Jade Stewart of Lalay Grand Bay has since been slapped with several charges and appeared before Magistrate Gloria Augustus Thursday February 10, 2022, where the charges were read to him.

It is alleged that on February 3, 2022, at the Woodbridge Bay Port in Fond Cole, Stewart engaged in the unlawful trafficking of 15 firearms and 964 rounds of ammunition.

He was not required to enter a plea since the offence is an indictable one.

The police preferred 15 charges of importation of the said firearms and three charges of importation of the several rounds of ammunition into Dominica against the accused as he is not the holder of a firearms import license.

Stewart elected to have a summary trial for the importation charges at the magistrate’s court and pleaded not guilty to the offenses.

At the hearing, Police Prosecutor Inspector Davidson Cadette, objected to bail based on the Bail Act number 20 of 2020, citing section 4 subsection 3 for his reason.

According to Cadette, based on this section of the law, the accused is not entitled to bail as a right and added that this is further strengthened by section 7:1 (D) under the firearm act.

Inspector Cadette further posited, given the prevalence of firearms and ammunition offenses in Dominica in recent times, there is grave public interest in this matter.

He further argued that due to the serious nature of the offense and the penalty which will be applied if the defendant is found guilty, Stewart poses as a flight risk and may attempt to abscond justice.

The police prosecutor also pleaded with the court to deny bail on the ground that the police  are conducting a parallel investigation against Stewart and fears that he may interfere with documentary evidence and witnesses if released.

In a brief response to the prosecution’s objection, attorney-at-law Zena Dyer of the law firm of Dyer & Dyer, argued that the prosecution had failed to give any grounds in accordance with the bail act to establish that bail should be withheld from her client, and as such she said bail should be granted.

However, in handing down her decision, Magistrate Augustus said based on the argument of the prosecution, she had agreed to the grounds put forward and denied bail to the accused.

Dyer immediately indicated her intention to move to the High Court to seek bail for her client and requested from the Magistrate, based on section 14 (1) of the Bail Act, her reason in writing for her denial of bail to proceed.

The matter was adjourned to June 17, 2022.

Meanwhile, Kent Thomas Mitchell of Bellevue Chopin was also charged with trafficking and importation of ammunition.

According to the charges preferred, it is alleged that on February 7, 2022, at the Woodbridge Bay Port in Fond Cole, Mitchell engaged in the unlawful trafficking of 150 9mm live rounds of  ammunition.

He was not required to enter a plea for this charge since it is an indictable offense.

For the second charge of importation of 150 9mm live rounds of ammunition, Mitchell opted for a summary trial in the magistrate court and pleaded guilty to the charge.

Presiding Magistrate Augusutus adjourned the matter to February 11, 2022, for facts and sentencing.

The prosecution then made an application pursuant to section 212 of the Magistrate Code of Procedure to have the accused placed in the custody of the investigating officer until his return to court.

Mitchell is represented by attorney-at-law Wayne Norde.

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11 Comments

  1. Jey Jey
    February 14, 2022

    I will say this; This man should have been on bail and given a psychological assessment/evaluation. Because, come people… who in their right mind puts guns in a barrel that have to be inspected at the port? What are the behavioral signs an individual must display in order to be labeled “insane”? This is a crazy man who is badly in need of medication. If Dominica had real lawyers instead of those “lawyers “ we have; then this man wouldn’t be locked up. But rather, he’d be treated for his mental irregularities. Shame on Dominica. Who in their right mind would pull up in front of Witchurch supermarket with a big truck at 2:00pm and start robbing the store? A crazy man, of course. This gun smuggler is crazy and needs medication urgently.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      February 16, 2022

      You might be much more insane than that man!

      Every object going through customs are not always subjected to physical or visual of the contents: there is something known as “Spot check” defined as ” object; someone or something randomly tested’ or inspected.”

      How do you know that there wasn’t an arrangement that particular barrel would not be inspected?

      We are dealing with a country where most people in position; police, custom official, immigration in the civil service in general are elements of corruption operating, so this person could be in cahoots with someone whom just did not go work that day, given another the opportunity to do the inspection, hence the importer got apprehended.

      One don’t have to crazy to do what the person did; it is our system of corruption that causes people to do these things in the open!

  2. February 13, 2022

    lawd av mercy. hefty lockup time required for dis

  3. D/can to d bone
    February 11, 2022

    Boy that’s something else eh. And those liar lawyers coming to defend. Smh when one of their family get shot they will know what time it is

  4. Greg
    February 11, 2022

    Those wanabe gangsters in grandbay always up yo some illegal coshony… lock them fellas thrr up and throw the key man.. then fellas doin nothing positive.. set of veh neg man and woman up there forming the ahsss

    • Wasin-Pak
      February 16, 2022

      That’s how much you don’t know, gangster ting finish in GBay, is Gwada dat going. You doe see who bringing dat in, she, I mean he no gangster, soap will be falling at Stockie.

  5. derp
    February 11, 2022

    This is only those they catching eh people much less for the people brining it in and they not catching. Now you have the law abiding citizen and you have to go and beg the government to protect yourself if you want to get a firearm, when it has them fella outside with those weapons getting it black is white. You already know police in Dominica slow and cannot protect nobody…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6
    • Moun sewye group
      February 11, 2022

      What an arrogant statement smh

    • Bwa-Banday
      February 11, 2022

      You are absolutely correct. Most policemen are not armed even when on duty so how they gonna protect you? If you see them man frighten and run when bandit burst on Christmas Eve is not even funny.

    • lmckoy
      February 12, 2022

      If it was one handgun, it could be said the firearm is for personal use but fifteen weapons, including assault rifles!? This person is clearly a danger to the country and deserves to be removed from society – for the good of the country.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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