By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN accused of being the mastermind behind a firearms trafficking ring was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for possession of ammunition or face 18 months in prison on Friday.
Omar Roberts, of Lumumba Lane, returned to Magistrate's Court three days after he and his wife, Jessie, were arraigned on the charge concerning 14 shotgun shells that were found in their home on September 16.
Roberts, at his initial arraignment on Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to the offence as did his wife. However, he changed his plea to guilty concerning the shells. The charge was withdrawn against his wife.
His lawyer, Ryzsard Humes, had asked Magistrate Constance Delancy not to impose a custodial sentence for the offence given that his client had previous good character and was gainfully employed. He had also stressed that his client had no previous convictions.
Magistrate Delancy acknowledged the points raised by defence counsel but said the mitigating factors had to be balanced against the seriousness of the offence.
Failure to pay the $5,000 fine will result in incarceration for 18 months at the Department of Correctional Services.
Roberts remains on remand at the prison as he awaits trial on 30 other firearm related offences that were levied against him in Magistrate’s Court earlier this week.
The accused faces seven counts of “introduction of a revolver into the Bahamas,” six counts of “introduction of ammunition into the Bahamas”, eight counts of “conspiracy to introduce a revolver into the Bahamas” and six counts of “possession of ammunition with intent to supply”.
He also faces a count each of “conspiracy to introduce ammunition into the Bahamas,” possession of an unlicenced firearm and possession of unlicenced revolvers with intent to supply, which completed the 30 offences he is alleged to have committed on September 16. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Roberts denies conspiring with others to bring in, possess and distribute a Betonics .45 pistol, a Hi-Point .380 pistol, a Beretta 9mm pistol, a Makarov 9mm pistol, a Remington Inc .40 pistol, a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, a Jiminez INC 9mm pistol and a 7.62 rifle.
He further denies conspiring with others to bring in, possess and distribute a combined 318 rounds of assorted ammunition for these weapons.
He will be tried on November 21.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Clifford Daxon is prosecuting the case.