Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019. 8:19 am CST.
Posted: Friday, March 15,2019. 8:18 a.m. CST.
By Aaron Humes: Two years ago on January ninth, six occupants of a taxi – five adult males and a minor boy, were charged after an unlicensed firearm was found in the vehicle but no one owned up to it.
Police at the time alleged that the group was headed to the offices of Northern Fishermen Cooperative Society Limited on North Front Street, to rob it; and that the gun was apparently stolen from a security guard on duty at Fair Brothers Pawn Shop on Mahogany Street.
But yesterday 22 year old Harry Montero; owner and taxi driver 62 year old Gilroy Thompson; 37 year old Kenroy Vanzie; 23 year old Dorian Blair; 24 year old Aaron Flowers and a minor then 17 but now 19 were all acquitted of their charges.
Magistrate Emmerson Banner ruled he was unable to find any evidence in support of the accusations, including that the group was going to commit a crime and that the gun belonged to any of those involved.
Acting on intelligence received, police stopped the van and observed one of the men inside being “suspicious”. Two others who police said were trying to flee were quickly rounded up and the 9-millimeter Luger pistol was found inside.
Thompson insisted he had no knowledge of the weapon and was simply taking a job with the group to the Northern offices. His co-accused also all denied any knowledge that the weapon was there.
On the charge of handling stolen goods, the Magistrate found that the security guard who had the weapon stolen from him could not identify it as his, as it actually belonged to his employers, though no one came forward to claim so.
The Magistrate cited inconsistencies with the evidence of the forensic examiner and police on the scene, and lamented that no fingerprints were lifted from the gun itself to identify who may have handled it.
Thompson was represented by attorney, Darlene Margaret Vernon while Senior Counsel, Ellis Arnold represented Aaron Flowers. The other four men were unrepresented.
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