11 guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammo involved
Three men were sentenced to multi-year jail terms last week in connection with what US authorities said was an attempt to ship a number of heavy-duty firearms from the Miami metro area to the Cayman Islands.
According to federal court records obtained by the Caymanian Compass, David Gilbert Lyons received a 57-month prison sentence; Mitchell Anthony Brown received a 37-month prison sentence; and Brittanio Jermie Walton received a 51-month prison sentence.
Lyons and Brown both pleaded guilty to conspiring to deliver firearms to a common carrier without notice and to smuggle firearms from the US. Both also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of attempting to smuggle firearms from the US.
Walton pleaded guilty to conspiring to deliver firearms to a common carrier, and to attempting to smuggle firearms from the US. Walton also pleaded to previous charges from 2006 and 2008 of knowingly making false statements in an immigration application.
After completing their sentences, all three men are required to serve two years of supervised release if they remain in the US.
According to federal court indictments obtained by the Caymanian Compass, the three men tried to smuggle firearms into the Cayman Islands via a freight forwarder located in Broward County, Florida. The three suspects pleaded guilty in August.
Charges of attempting to export firearms, attempting to ship firearms with obliterated serial numbers and possessing firearms with serial numbers obliterated were all dropped.
To obtain the illegal firearms, federal court records indicated that Lyons travelled from Grand Cayman to Miami on 2 April to meet up with Walton and Brown.
On 10 April, the charge alleges that the three drove to Pennsylvania to obtain firearms and returned to Miami about four days later.
The federal court indictment alleges that the three men went to a Home Depot store in Hialeah, Florida to buy light fixtures, ceiling fans, a hedge trimmer, and a window air conditioning unit, which they used in attempts to conceal what they were shipping.
Two days later, court records charge that seven boxes containing the items bought at Home Depot were delivered to a freight forwarder in Port Everglades, Florida.
‘All (the items) concealed firearms and ammunition,’ the indictment stated.
The firearms, ammunition and gun parts seized by US authorities investigating the case included:
* A .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol, with 50 rounds of .45 calibre ammunition.
* A .357 semi automatic pistol.
* A Smith & Wesson .50 calibre Model 500 revolver.
* A .44 calibre Texas Marshal revolver.
* An XD-45ACP .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol.
* About 400 rounds of Winchester-Western ammunition.
* A Taurus .40 calibre semi-automatic pistol.
* About 200 rounds of PMC ammunition (assorted).
* A C9 semi-automatic pistol.
* A Smith & Wesson SW40VE semi-automatic pistol.
* A Ruger P-95 semi-automatic pistol.
* An Acrus Co 94 DIG semi-auto pistol.
* A Glock model .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol.
* 50 rounds of 38 special ammunition; 25 rounds of .45 calibre ammunition; 347 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
* Miscellaneous firearms accessories…including flash suppressors, bore brushes, grips, magazines, gun keys, holsters and magazine holders.
The case falls under federal jurisdiction in the United States because federal law states that no ‘defence articles or defence services’ can be exported from the US to a foreign country without a US State Department licence.
The indictment does not mention who the weapons were shipped to in the Cayman Islands. However, firearms importation charges have since been filed in connection with a case that involved the recovery of several handguns at the Cayman Islands port in late April.