Court news corner
Couple charged following the discovery of guns on the port
Reneker Blanc, a 29-year-old former school teacher of Coulibistrie, and her fiancé Kervin Patrick Etienne of Dallas Texas who both reside in Morne Daniel have been charged with trafficking firearms and trafficking ammunition into Dominica.
According to acting Inspector of Police, Fixton Henderson, on Friday 30th, September 2022, about 2:30 p.m, customs officers along with police officers from the Drug Squad Unit discovered 20 pistols and 406 rounds of 9mm ammunition concealed in cereal boxes at the Woodbridge Bay Port in Fond Cole.
"The cereal boxes were packed within a larger box package and sent to Dominica from the United States of America. The officers seized the firearms and ammunition," Henderson disclosed.
He added that Blanc who was clearing the box at the time and Etienne who was in the vicinity of the port were arrested by the police on the same day.
Following investigation by the police, the pair appeared before the Roseau Magistrate court on October 4, 2022, where the charges of trafficking firearms and ammunition were read to them. They were not required to enter a plea since the matter is an indictable offence and is expected to be heard at the High Court before a judge and jury.
When the couple reappeared before the court on October 5, 2022, bail was granted to Blanc in the sum of $100,000, while Etienne was remanded into custody pending a bail application on October 10, 2022.
Attorneys for the accused man were unsuccessful in their attempts to have the court stay the matter against him as they alleged that the investigating officer induced him into giving a statement during the course of the investigation.
The matter has been adjourned to February 24, 2023 for the start of Preliminary Inquiry to determine if there is enough evidence for the matter to be tried at the High Court.
"The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force wishes to warn the general public against the illegal importation and possession of firearms and ammunition and wishes to emphasise further that there will be no tolerance for such activities," Henderson cautioned. "Therefore, persons found engaging in legal firearm activities will be dealt with swiftly according to law."
Brothers charged with aggravated burglary at Do It Centre
Glendon Burton, 26, and his brother, Rodan Burton, 23, both of Concord are now remanded into custody at the Dominica State Prison following a charge of aggravated burglary preferred against them by the police.
Acting Inspector of Police, Fixton Henderson reported that on Thursday 29 September 2022, about 6:25 p.m, two men wearing hoodies and surgical masks, entered the Do It Center Hardware store situated on Goodwill Road, each armed with a fish gun.
"Having entered, the men grabbed a deposit bag which was on a counter and made good their escape with the bag. The bag contained a quantity of cash and cheques made out to Do It Center," he reported.
Following an investigation launched by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Rodan who resides in Bena Ravine, Canefield, and Glendon who lives in Castle Comfort were arrested and charged with the offence of aggravated burglary.
On Friday 7th October 2022, the men appeared before the Roseau Magistrate's court where the charge was read to them. The accused were not required to enter a plea since the matter is an indictable offence and is expected to be heard at the High Court of Justice before a judge and jury.
At the hearing, the prosecution did not object to bail however the accused men were unable to represent a suitable surety to the court and were subsequently remanded into custody pending their Preliminary Inquiry.
-By Ronalda Luke