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HomeBreaking News79-year-old American man slapped with EC$7,500.00 fine for gun related offences

79-year-old American man slapped with EC$7,500.00 fine for gun related offences

On Wednesday, January 24, 2024, William Elton Kennedy of Louisiana arrived with his wife and two pilots on his private jet at the Douglas Charles Airport.

At the time he had in his possession 9MM Pistol and two .9mm magazines one with 11 rounds and the other 13 rounds of ammunition.

The aircraft was locked and he then proceeded to customs and immigration and did not declare to customs that he had the firearm and ammunition.

On January 28, 2024, he and his companions returned to the Douglas Charles Airport. Before departure the pilot Phillip Schiatel during his inspection discovered the firearm and ammunition inside the aircraft and informed the ground handlers supervisor at the airport about his findings. The police were called and the firearm and ammunition were handed over to them.

When questioned by police about his failure to declare the firearm and ammunition he replied “I came down with it but did not know that I could not travel with it to Dominica.

After conducting a written interview with Kennedy, he was informed by the police that he was being arrested for his failure to declare his firearm and ammunition to customs.

He was also slapped with a charge of importation of a firearm and one of importation of ammunition into Dominica without a firearm and ammunition license, those two charges were withdrawn by the prosecution after he pleaded guilty to his failure to declare the firearm and ammunition to customs.

At the magistrate’s court, he admitted to the facts as read by Inspector of Police Francis Laville.

In his mitigating plea, his lawyer Wayne Norde told the court that his client was 79 years old and traveled to Dominica for business purposes, was at the court’s mercy with no previous convictions, and had not wasted the court’s time pleading guilty at the “first opportunity.”

“He was very cooperative with the police, customs, and immigration, he was the one who told them about the firearm in the aircraft so he was honest from the word go and yes his honesty brought him to court,” Norde stated.

He asked the court to use its “discretion based on the facts, give his client a strong warning and reprimand and discharge him.”

“This is not a case of a custodial sentence, the facts of this case are special,” Norde stated.

But Magistrate Michael Laudat told him that ignorance of the law is no excuse and while he will not impose a “custodial sentence he must look at the public’s interest in the matter.”

“I’m not going to impose a custodial sentence on you, you have fully cooperated, you pleaded guilty and did not subject the court to a prolonged trial,” the Magistrate said.

He was given a fine of EC$7,500.00 for the failure to declare a firearm to customs and for the ammunition charge with no separate penalty. The fine was paid immediately.

The maximum sentence for both offenses is EC$10,000.00 each and two years in jail.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Ok Darroux knows the law but a party boy $5000
    The visitor does not leaves it on the plane $7500
    ??????????????justice ????????????????

  2. In the first place, the man was charged for importation. The Law says if the firearm was left on the aircraft the Traveller has not imported. Section 37 of the Act. when this was brought to the notice of the prosecution then they sought to give the traveler another charge, thus the failing to declare. Also, if he fails to declare based on section 34 of the Act, the prosecution has to prove that the firearm and or ammunition was in his possession or under his control. The charge allege that he had them in his possession or under his control. Question is, which one of the Actus Reus of the offence of failing to declare was the prosecution alleging? Both shouldn’t be included in the same charge. Basically, what the prosecution said to the court is we do not know if he has it in his possession or the firearm and ammunition was under his control. It is my belief that the magistrate should have dismissed the matter.

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