From the Courts
March 26, 2010
Dominican gets six months for illegal entry

A Dominican native was imprisoned after he entered the country illegally and lied about his purpose for being here.

Joseph Lewis appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, March 22, 2010. He was charged with the illegal entry into the country by boat. He pleaded guilty to the offence.{{more}}

According to the facts read in court, on Saturday, March 20, 2010, Lewis was spotted by Rapid Response Unit (RRU) police officers alighting a boat in the Chateaubelair area. When Lewis saw the police he attempted to run, but was caught by the police officers. The officers questioned Lewis who admitted that he had not cleared immigration, and that he had entered the country illegally.

As he stood before Senior Magistrate Donald Browne, Lewis explained that he came to St. Vincent to look for his mother, who he hasn’t heard from in about four months. “My mom is in love with a Vincy man,” Lewis said. He added that his mother moved away a year ago and that the last time he spoke with her she said she was living in Cedars with a man named Raphael Pompey.

Lewis, who said that he is very close to his mother, further explained that he became worried when he tried calling his mother on her cell phone but got no response. According to him, that is when he decided to come to St. Vincent to look for her.

Browne, unimpressed by Lewis’ explanation, said that Lewis was here for illegal purposes. “All of you come here for one thing and one thing only, to buy weed,” Browne commented. Prosecutor Sergeant Glenford Greggs related that the problem with illegal entry has become prevalent in St. Vincent.

Browne then ordered Lewis to try calling his mother again. He was escorted outside the court by a police offer. A few minutes later Lewis came back to the courtroom and the officer that escorted him related to Browne that Lewis’ mother said that she was in Antigua and had been there for the past five years.

“You are an insipid Liar!” Browne told Lewis. He sentenced Lewis to six months in prison, with deportation following his sentence.