BVI News

After 4 years, USVI men freed of firearm charges in BVI

Two natives of the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) who were before the BVI courts in 2017 for charges relating to a firearm, were yesterday acquitted of all charges, BVI News understands.

Both men were represented by local attorney Stephen Daniels.  

The acquitted are ferry captain Jarvis Hodge, who was charged with giving false information to a public officer; and Derrick Callwood who was charged with untrue declaration, importation of explosives, and carrying an unlicensed firearm.

The importation of explosives charges were dismissed and the men were declared not guilty of all other charges.

Details of the case.

Hodge was the boat captain of ‘Inter Caribbean Ferry Service’ — a vessel that operates between the BVI and USVI. On November 5, 2016, he and his passenger Derrick Callwood were arrested by BVI Customs officers for not declaring a gun they had on board.

At the time, Hodge testified that, while he sailed towards Jost Van Dyke in the BVI, Callwood informed him that he was carrying his licensed firearm.

“I said: What! Are you crazy? Bring it up to me, disarm it, and secure it,” Hodge told the court, adding that the weapon was kept in his bag located in the captain’s quarters of the vessel.

Callwood then asked Hodge to bring the weapon back into the USVI on his return trip. Hodge said he agreed.

The boat captain further testified that, when he arrived at Jost Van Dyke in the BVI, no Customs officer asked if he had anything to declare.

He said he then sailed to his next stop, which is the West End Ferry Terminal on Tortola.

Hodge told the court that Customs officers in West End accosted him about the firearm.

He stated that, when he was asked about the weapon, he immediately admitted to having it.

He said a Customs officer told him that he should have declared the gun at Jost Van Dyke.

The boat captain said he then asked to be allowed to declare the weapon in West End, but the officer told him it was ‘too late’.

That’s when the men were arrested and charged in relation to the gun.

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8 Comments

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  1. Swift Justice? says:

    Is the article correct? Did these men serve FOUR Years on a false charge, awaiting trial in the BVI? No excuse for that sort of delay. What kind of a third-world justice system are we operating. Place looking more like Port-au-Prince all the time.

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  2. The Govt will get Drunk says:

    More law suits coming for this…..four years of the men’s life on stand still!
    Prosecutors need to sit with the investigators whilst going thru the evidence before preferring some of these charges

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
    • I could tell ya says:

      The bvi would have you sitting on remand for years to tell you that your case is dismissed but they’re lucky they got found not guilty instead of time served because they would have had a record in the bvi

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
  3. Real talk says:

    Sk**t they were charged not imprisoned them lucky time was on there side .

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  4. Lord says:

    U have to look what was their intention and was intent to commit any crime. They made a genuine mistake and from law enforcement BVI to law enforcement USVI the issue could have been resolved without the men going through this draw.

  5. Jay says:

    Derrick mistakenly walked with the gun. Things happen. I am happy they both got off. But the length it took to be freed was too long.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  6. ReX FeRaL says:

    He should have declared the weapon at JVD. If he was not accosted at west end it appear he had no intention to declare it. Take your gift and run.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  7. Ghost says:

    Sue the government

    Like 3
    Dislike 1

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