Local man locked up in US

A US federal judge in Florida imposed a two-year prison sentence last week for a Cayman Islands man in connection with firearms charges.

Marvin Matthew Watson pleaded guilty earlier this year to possessing a firearm as a non-immigrant alien, according to officials with the US Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida.

The indictment issued against Watson accused him of knowingly possessing a firearm which had been transported in interstate or foreign commerce. Federal court records indicated it was likely Watson would be deported following the completion of his US sentence.

The offence carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on conviction.

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. All three received jail sentences in November.

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

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