Man pleads in US firearms case

A local man charged in US federal court with possessing a firearm as a non-immigrant alien pleaded guilty last week, according to officials with the US Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida.

An indictment issued against Marvin Matthew Watson earlier this year accused him of knowingly possessing a firearm ‘which had been transported in interstate or foreign commerce’ in violation of US law.

The offence carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on conviction. Mr. Watson’s scheduled sentencing date is 2 December.

US attorneys have not commented on whether Mr. Watson’s case has any relation to the indictment earlier this year of three men in connection with a gun smuggling operation conducted between the US states of Pennsylvania and Miami, and Grand Cayman.

The date of Mr. Watson’s offence, listed in court documents as 18 March, comes at least two weeks before incidents involving three men who pleaded guilty to federal charges of attempting to ship firearms to Grand Cayman via a freight forwarder in Broward County, Florida.

Those three individuals, at least one of whom is from Cayman, pleaded guilty to US charges in connection with the smuggling case in August. They’re due to be sentenced in November, according to federal court records.

Federal indictments allege that one of the men, David Gilbert Lyons, travelled from Grand Cayman to Miami to meet two other men. The three allegedly drove to Pennsylvania to obtain firearms, then attempted to smuggle the goods in boxes filled with appliances from the Home Depot store in Hialeah, Florida.

Cayman Islands authorities have repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding any aspect of this investigation conducted locally.

Previous court reports in the Caymanian Compass indicated that a woman was arrested and charged in connection with a firearms importation incident earlier this year. But police have not connected that arrest with the Florida gun smuggling case.