Tuschen taxi driver remanded over gun, ammo found by sniffer dog

Tuschen taxi driver Leroy Marshall was remanded to prison yesterday on charges of the unlawful possession of a gun and ammunition, which the police say a sniffer dog found hidden in his car.

The courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan heard that on November 16, at Georgetown, Marshall, 45, of Lot 72 Tuschen, East Bank Demerara, had in his possession a .32 revolver while not being a holder of a firearm licence.

It was also alleged that on the same day, he had five live .38 rounds of ammunition and one gramme of cannabis in his possession. Marshall, who was represented by attorney George Thomas, pleaded not guilty to all three charges when they were read to him.

According to Thomas, Marshall was stopped by the police on November 10. He said the officers proceeded to conduct a search on Marshall, his passengers and the car. Thomas said that although the search uncovered nothing, police arrested his client and his passengers.  He said his client and the passengers were later freed but Marshall’s car was kept in police custody.

Thomas said when Marshall returned to the police station, he noticed that his car was moved and the police told him that he was under arrest for gun and ammunition possession. According to the lawyer, his client was told that a dog had sniffed out the gun.

However, Marshall has maintained that the gun and ammunition were not found in his presence and no animal was there to conduct a search.  Thomas also told the court that a passenger in the car was willing to testify that the police searched the car on November 10, and found nothing.

Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers objected to bail. The prosecutor said the police, with the aid of the sniffer dog, found the firearm and the rounds in a panel of one of the back doors in the presence of the accused.

Chief Magistrate McLennan subsequently remanded Marshall to prison and adjourned the case until December 15 for report and fixture.

In a statement issued last week, police had said that based on intensive intelligence gathering, officers conducted a search on Marshall. It said that in the initial search, the ranks came up empty handed and decided to utilise one of the force’s sniffer dogs, who is trained in detecting firearms and explosive devices. The dog, called ‘Ace,’ arrived with its handler and in the presence of the driver sniffed out the gun, police had said.

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