Trio denied bail, remanded to HMP

The trio charged July 9 with gun possession, ammunition possession and drug possession in Nevis has been denied bailed by the Magistrate’s Court in Charlestown.

Watisha Browne of Cole Hill, Dwayne “Fireman” Freeman and his sister, Natasha Freeman, of Rawlins were officially charged with gun possession of a 9mm pistol, eight rounds of ammunition and possession with cannabis with intent to supply after officers searched Dwayne and Natasha’s home July 8. At the time of the search, Browne and two minor children were at the house.

The trio faced Magistrate Donna Harris (resident magistrate in St. Kitts) on Friday at the Magistrate’s Court in Nevis, where they made an application for bail. Their application was quickly shot down by Harris and they were further remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison in St. Kitts pending bail application in the High Court or pending their trail.

The Observer further understands from a court official that at least two of the three accused were charged around six weeks ago with possession of ammunition. They were, however, granted bail pending their case.

The Observer questioned Police Prosecutor Eurita Collins-Percival on rumors that have circulated about Dwayne Freeman taking ownership of the gun, however Percival said “that never happened in court.”

In June, the Team Unity administration sought to impose stiffer penalties for people convicted of gun-related crimes and has substantially increased the penalty for those convicted of gun-related offences. Both government members of Parliament and opposition members of parliament agreed with the stiffer penalties.

The Rawlins discovery of the firearm totaled 27 illegal firearms taken off the streets in the federation. Just two days later, however, another firearm was discovered in the sister island of St. Kitts. According to a police report, “A subsequent search of a vacant lot in close proximity by the officers and a K-9 team resulted in the discovery of one .357 Revolver and six rounds of ammunition.” The latest discovery now tallies 28 illegal firearms in seven months, eight less than the entire year ending 2016.

Public Relations Officer Grell Brown, in a previous interview with the Observer, noted that all illegal firearms discovered by the police are turned over to the forensic-ballistic department to check if they were used in the commission of any past gun-related crimes. He noted all firearms taken off the streets are stored in a “secured place.” The guns, he said, after a certain time will be destroyed once all necessary tests are completed.