A man was yesterday fined and sentenced to two years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to illegal firearm and ammunition possession, when he and two others were taken before the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
It was alleged that Jason Hunte, 32, Michael Vanderstoop, 30 and Terrence Frank, 33, on September 6th, 2018, at Samatta Point Grove, East Bank Demerara, had in their possession one 9mm Pistol and a .45 pistol without being the holders of firearm licences. It was further alleged that the men, on the same date, had in their possession nine rounds of live 9mm ammunition and four rounds of .45 ammunition.
It was reported that trio was intercepted with the illegal articles when the vehicle they were traveling in was stopped by police.
Hunte and Frank denied the allegations while Vanderstoop pleaded guilty to both.
Hunte’s attorney, George Thomas, in an application for reasonable bail, told the court that his client was only a passenger of the motorcar. Thomas stated that when the search was conducted, a haversack was found and his client gave no oral or written statement to the police. The lawyer went on to say that there was no evidence to show that his client was the owner of the haversack.
Attorney Patrice Henry, who represented Frank, also made an application for reasonable bail. Henry told the court that his client hitched a ride and joined the motorcar, occupying the front passenger seat.
Henry said the car was stopped just two minutes after his client joined. He further stated that nothing was found in the front seat where his client was and argued that he was only charged because he did not cooperate with the police at that time. Henry also said that other persons who were in the motorcar were released even though they too did not cooperate with police.
Facts in relation to the matter stated that on the day in question, the police, acting on information received, stopped motorcar PSS 4118 along the Samatta Point Public Road. Five persons were in the vehicle at the time.
A search was conducted on the car and a haversack was found in the backseat of the vehicle next to Hunte, who was seated on the left side. All occupants of the vehicle were arrested and taken to the Ruimveldt Police Station. It was reported that Vanderstoop gave a caution statement to the police alleging that Hunte had planned a robbery and they were going to carry out same at Samatta Point.
When the Magistrate asked Vanderstoop if he had anything to say, he answered in the negative.
Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan fined Vanderstoop a total of $100,000 and sentenced him to two years in prison for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently.
Hunte and Frank were remanded to prison and will make their next appearance on September 27th, at the Providence Magistrate’s Court.