William Elton Kennedy a U.S National was slapped with two charges for importation of firearm and importation of ammunition under the Firearms Act on the 28th day of January, 2024.
The facts surrounding the complaint is that the accused allegedly imported one pistol gun and 24 rounds of ammunition at the Douglas Charles Airport without declaring it to customs.
On January 28th 2024, while preparing for departure, the pilot of the aircraft conducted an inspection of the aircraft and discovered a firearm. The ground handlers and police were informed and the firearm and ammunition were confiscated.
On Monday 29th January 2024, Kennedy made his appearance before Senior Magistrate Michael Laudat where the charges of importation of a firearm and importation of ammunition were read to him. Kennedy entered a not guilty plea and was granted bail.
On Tuesday 30th January, 2024, Kennedy reappeared before the Magistrate Laudat. The prosecution withdrew the two charges and he was instead charged with failure to declare firearm and ammunition to customs.
Kennedy changed his not guilty plea to the one of guilty and after the facts were read it was accepted as read by him with no objections.
Attorney for the Defendant, Wayne Norde entered a plea mitigation stating among other things that his client is 79 years of age and is a Business man by profession. He stressed that Kennedy’s trip to Dominica was solely business related.
To add, Norde voiced that his client pleaded guilty on first opportunity and has no previous convictions. According to attorney for the Defendant, Kennedy was at all material times very cooperative with the police, customs officials and immigration officials, to the extent that it was the defendant’s initiative to make the customs aware about the firearm on the aircraft which resulted in the matter being brought against him.
The attorney also expressed that the case is ripe and calls for reprimand and discharge.
The Magistrate, however stated that he is not adhering to the sentencing guidelines and fined the defendant $7,500.00.