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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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