BVI News

Duo found with firearm granted bail | One claims to be hitchhiker, court hears

Not the gun or ammunition mentioned in the story.

Twenty-three-year-old Guyana national Damian Hooper and 33-year-old Vincentian Corey Butler have each been were granted $55,000 signed bail for gun, drugs and traffic-related offences when they appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on Monday, May 4.

The duo is jointly charged with two offences — Carrying a Firearm without a License and Unlawful Possession of Explosives.

Butler has an additional charge of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Drug while his co-accused is further charged with Driving a Vehicle without Third Party Insurance and Driving Without a Driver’s License.

Neither of the men was made to plead during their appearance before Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin.

Allegations

The court heard that on April 28, members of the police Armed Response Unit were on mobile patrol and stopped at the central roundabout in Road Town to conduct traffic stops. 

It is alleged that around 10:50 am, one of the officers observed a vehicle with two occupants travelling down the left lane of the highway heading towards the roundabout.

Vehicle was about 40 feet away when the said policeman saw when the vehicle allegedly changed lanes. The court heard that this aroused suspicion so he proceeded to signal to the driver of the vehicle (Hooper) to stop.

The driver complied, the court heard. It is alleged that the driver was instructed to exit the vehicle, to which he complied before allegedly fleeing in the direction of DeCastro Street.

Another officer gave chase on foot and Hooper was eventually caught in the John’s Hole area.

Hitchhiker?

Butler, who was the only other person in the vehicle, was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, the court heard. It is alleged that he was observed attempting to remove his seatbelt, which aroused suspicion. After requesting to search the accused man, 33.3 grams of cannabis was allegedly found in the pair of shorts he was wearing.

“Officer, it is for my personal use,” he allegedly said. 

Cash in the sum of $8,385.20 was also found in his pockets, the court heard.

It is alleged that the search of the vehicle continued and during this process, police lifted a mat in front of the passenger seat where he was seated and uncovered a loaded nine-millimetre calibre pistol with seven rounds of ammunition.

“I don’t know whose own that is, I just got a ride,” Butler reportedly said.

Search warrant

He and his co-accused were later arrested, transported to the Road Town Police Station, and charged.

The court heard that a search warrant was executed at the duo’s home. A number of paper cigars and cigarette papers, along with two digital scales were found at Butler’s home.

Both men denied knowledge of the firearm and explosives. 

Hooper reportedly said the vehicle did not belong to him and he only received the vehicle to do a quick run.

Bail conditions

In court, the men were ordered to surrender all travel documents as part of their bail conditions. They are also required to report to their nearest police station on Saturdays and Wednesday between 6 am to 6 pm when there is no curfew.

When there is a curfew, they must abide by it and report to the police station with sufficient time to return home before the curfew activates, Magistrate Benjamin said.

Their matter was adjourned to June 18.

Valerie Gordon represents Hooper while Leroy Jones represents Butler.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

15 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Hmmmm says:

    They gone!! Signed bond? What’s that a promise? A boat will be missing somewhere.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  2. midam says:

    Wow! Locals are refused bail for the same offense that a Guyanese and a Vincentian can get bail for. This is indeed interesting. The most interestng part though is that a local magistrate granted the duo bail, and the expat magistrates always refuse locals bail. I guess it is at the discretion of the magistrate and not the law.

    Like 10
    Dislike 7
    • @Midam says:

      Then it is said that locals are the ones who are discriminating against expats when it is obvious that it is the opposite. God will continue to bless these Virgin Islandsand it’s people.

      Like 7
      Dislike 11
      • Truth says:

        The expat magistrates can see through the BS and know there will be a custodial sentence handed down, so what’s the point in granting bail?

    • Non sense says:

      You know what you are saying is non sense. Of course a local would also be granted such bail conditions under the same charge. Maybe given reduced to $20k.
      P.S. I am not defending these men. Do the crime do the time.

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
      • Mind you business says:

        You need to stop I know a local that was granted bail at $75000 for 16.5 gm of weed first offense and had to served 4 years in jail a next man was caught with brick he was sentenced to 7 years a man that was Born and raised in St. Thomas got caught with 6 bricks and only did 33 months tell me if the court system here is fair

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
      • True story that's never been told says:

        My brother was arrested in a vehicle with a guy from St Thomas and in the vehicle was weed my brother my brother was the passenger but his passport was taken they said that he’s a flight risk and he is a local by blood born and raised here in the bvi where the other person was from st.thomas could travel back and forth for court tell me where is the fairness in that

  3. Light tap says:

    55k bail?

  4. he says:

    Only rat get gun bail

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  5. @Midam says:

    Then it is said that locals are the ones who are discriminating against expats when it is obvious that it is the opposite. God will continue to bless these Virgin Islandsand it’s people.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  6. What!!!! says:

    What a B.S. story, a gun and ammunition is under the car front carpet where you a sitting and you don’t know it’s there???

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  7. No Part says:

    We want no part of this in the Virgin islands. NO TOLERANCE!!!!

  8. Mandatory Law says:

    We need Mandatory Laws so that magistrates and judges don’t have room to pay around with serious offenders.

  9. Eagle eye says:

    Next time don’t point the gun at us.it’s scary to look at thanks.

  10. Em Boyz says:

    One of em done Rat out. So bail was easy to get.Them just have to ride out the court system for show. Watch i tell u

Leave a Comment

Shares