Saturday 20 October, 2018

Two US nationals arrested with guns at airport checkpoint

Two US nationals were arrested and charged over the weekend after they were caught trying to bring two firearms and 24 rounds of ammunition through Donald Sangster International airport in Montego Bay, St James.

They are 35-year-old Robert Alexander Reid, disk jockey and 30-year-old  Ngozika Faith Chidoro both of Altamonte Spring, Florida in the United States of America.

Reports are that about 2:40 p.m., Reid and Chidoro arrived at the airport from an American Airlines flight. During a routine check of their luggage, anomalies were discovered that revealed one Sig Sauer pistol with two magazines containing sixteen .45 rounds of ammunition and a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol with two magazines containing eight 9mm rounds of ammunition were found.

The weapons and ammunition were subsequently seized and both individuals arrested and charged with Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammunition and Importing Firearms and Ammunition without a licence.

Both were offered station bail with own surety in the sum of JMD 100, 000 each and are to appear before the Western Regional Gun Court on Wednesday, November  15. 

Investigations continue.

Police say they are seeing an increase in the number of cases where firearm holders are trying to travel through the island's airports with guns and ammunition in their possession.

"It is something we are seeing too often and as a result we (the police) are becoming very concerned about this," deputy superintendent, Christopher Brown of the East Kingston Police Division told Loop News during an interview earlier this year.

Police say in the last two months they have arrested five persons all legal firearm holders at the Norman Manley International Airport for the illegal act.

"The most recent was a returning resident, who was traveling from Caribbean Estate, he was held at the airport with two live rounds on his person while he was preparing to board a flight to leave the island," police said.

"It is an illegal act and we want to use this opportunity to warn license firearm holders to be more vigilant and to ensure their weapons and ammunition are placed in a safe place when they are planning to travel," said Brown.

"This is a development we are seeing more of and we want to inform members of the public that it is a breach and will result in persons getting arrested if they are caught," Brown said.