A sentence of three years incarceration has been handed down to a 25-year-old Grenadian who was caught red handed in a house on Union Island with an unlicensed firearm and over one hundred bullets.
Fisherman Nixon Belfon, and Grenadian Shaquille/Michael Derrick, were previously both charged that they did have 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition in their possession on May 6 in Union Island. However, this charge was withdrawn against Derrick, leaving only Belfon to face sentencing yesterday, June 7, at the Serious Offences Court (SOC).
Belfon was also charged that he did, on the same date and in the same place, have one Taurus Millenium .40 Pistol, serial number ‘STA 56770’, and five rounds of .40 ammunition.
The charges stem from an operation carried out by a party of Rapid Response Unit(RRU) personnel at about 9:50am on the said date. The officers were acting on information received when they descended on a home in Murray, Union Island.
The police constable heading the party noticed on arrival that the doors of the house were open, and he is said to have seen Belfon inside with what looked like a gun in his hand. Derrick, also in the house, was observed sitting on a chair.
The head of the operation shouted “Police, don’t move” to the occupants, after which Belfon apparently placed the gun in the kitchen sink. The officer entered the house and removed the gun. He examined it, and registered what the make and serial number of the weapon was, and searched the firearm for ammunition. None was found therein.
Belfon apparently told the officers, “I meet it here”.
A search of the 25-year-old’s person revealed that he had five rounds of .40 ammunition in his right pants pocket. He said nothing about this.
Nothing illegal was found on the person of Derrick.
However, a search of the home, led the police to discover, in a bedroom, under a mattress on the ground, two transparent wrapped packages.
Opening them, the officer saw two full 50 round cartridges of 9mm ammunition, together amounting to 100 bullets.
“I meet them here,” was the explanation given to the police.
Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne sentenced the young Grenadian to three years in prison for possession of the firearm, two years for possession of the 100 unlicensed rounds of ammunition, and eight months incarceration for possession of five rounds of unlicensed ammunition.
The two Grenadians were also sentenced on four immigration charges. For the charges that they did enter the state by boat without a passport; that they did enter without the consent of an immigration officer; and at a place other than a port of entry, the duo were sentenced to four months in prison.
For wilfully allowing themselves to be landed as a prohibited immigrant, each was fined $600 forthwith, with a default of three months in prison.