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Owia man jailed for illegal ammo possession

Owia man jailed for illegal ammo possession

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A 10-month prison term was handed down to an Owia man yesterday, after he was found guilty of being in illegal possession of five rounds of 12-gauge ammunition.

Carlos Baptiste, 50, who had pleaded not guilty to the ammunition charge last October, was also charged for having 91 rocks of cocaine in his possession.

These matters are being tried separately.

Yesterday, the Serious Offences Court heard that Station Sergeant Nolan Dallaway and a party of Rapid Response Unit officers spotted Baptiste on October 8, 2016, while conducting stop and search duties along the Owia public road.

According to police, Baptiste was seen sitting in his porch, when Dallaway observed that the Owia man had moved to the downstairs of the house when he spotted the officers.

Dallaway alerted PC 381 McDowall and both officers followed Baptiste and saw him throw a transparent plastic bag into some nearby dasheen plants. When retrieved, the bag was found to contain the five rounds of ammunition.

Over the past few months, the Serious Offences Court has exercised an attitude of non-tolerance in firearm and ammunition cases.

By SEARCHLIGHT’s reckoning, persons found guilty of these offences have been receiving sentences of no less than nine months.

This approach seems to have been prompted by the shocking number of firearm related homicides being recorded here, with 2016 seeing 40 murders, a record high.

Baptiste is the third person to be incarcerated for a firearm related offence in 2017.

The Owia man would, however, make another appearance at the Serious Offences Court later this month to answer to the drug possession charge brought against him. (AS)

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