By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A JAMAICAN awaiting approval for a work permit was one of three men arraigned in Magistrate’s Court yesterday on firearm-related charges.
Everton Douglas, 37, of Rocky Pine Road, appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt accused of possessing an unlicensed Maverick shotgun and six shotgun shells for the weapon on October 16.
Douglas pleaded not guilty to the charge concerning the items that belonged to 38-year-old Willy Petit-Frere.
Petit-Frere pleaded not guilty to permitting Douglas to have possession of his shotgun, warranting the charge of “failing to comply with the conditions of the firearms certificate” to be levied against him.
While the police prosecutor had no objection to bail for Petit-Frere, Inspector Clifford Daxon said Douglas had no status in the Bahamas and would be a flight risk if granted bail.
Douglas’ lawyer, Miranda Adderley, however, said her client did have a pending work permit application before the Department of Immigration (DOI).
The chief magistrate, in turn, asked how one could apply for status in a country when they had no status to begin with. His lawyer maintained that he was not a threat.
Etienne Emmanuel, DOI prosecutor, however, told the chief magistrate he had information of Douglas being previously charged with overstaying in 2010 which resulted in his deportation and being placed on a restricted list.
“How’s that possible?” the chief magistrate asked.
“That’s the issue we’re (DOI) battling” the immigration prosecutor replied.
“Some immigration officer let him in, that’s real talk,” the chief magistrate said.
Ms Adderley interjected that her client, based on the information she received, had entered the country legally, with his passport being stamped by the authorities.
With this revelation, the chief magistrate said she would adjourn the decision on bail to tomorrow, to allow both sides to produce the full facts and sworn affidavits before she makes a decision.
In a separate matter, a man awaiting trial in April 2016 on an abetment to murder charge, found himself before the chief magistrate accused of possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition on October 18.
Giovanni Roberts, 32, of Sandyview Alley, denied ownership of a black Glock .40 pistol and 11 live rounds of ammunition.
The chief magistrate’s decision on whether he would be granted bail, and his date for trial, was not available up to press time.
This was also the case for 26-year-old Noel Lamm, who is accused of possessing a black and silver Ruger 9mm pistol on October 16.
The Anthumum Avenue resident is the son of PLP campaign general Carlos Lamm, who was given government contracts worth more than $100,000 for school repairs shortly after the 2012 general election.
The father was recently released from jail after serving a year for drug possession with intent to supply.