A Caymanian man who was arrested at Miami International Airport earlier this month is facing a five-count US federal criminal indictment in connection with alleged gun smuggling activities.
Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, 25, aka Brandon Leslie Ebanks, is accused of conspiring with other individuals in the illegal shipping of firearms from the Miami area to Grand Cayman between May and November 2008, according to the indictment obtained by the Caymanian Compass.
Leslie faces one count of conspiracy to smuggle firearms, two counts of smuggling firearms and ammunition, and two counts of delivering firearms to a common carrier without notice. Each count carries an individual maximum sentence of between five and 10 years imprisonment.
The indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury in the US district court in the southern district of Florida on 22 December.
An indictment is merely a charge of criminal activity and does not constitute a conviction. At press time Tuesday, Leslie was due to appear in US magistrates’ court for a 2pm arraignment; a proceeding where the charges against him are read and where he would typically make a formal pleading to those allegations.
In addition to the allegations against Leslie, the US federal court indictment names a number of other individuals who prosecutors allege were involved in the gun smuggling activities between Florida and Grand Cayman during 2008. However, none of the other individuals were charged in the indictment against Leslie on 22 December.
The details of those alleged activities are given in the indictment, which is a public document available to anyone. The Caymanian Compass has printed below federal prosecutors’ chronological series of events as they appear in the charges against Leslie:
29 May, 2008: Michael Timothy Ebanks flew from Grand Cayman to Miami, Florida.
In or about June 2008: Michael Ebanks purchased a .45-calibre firearm and ammunition from Howard Antonio Edwards, aka Michael Bell, aka Jason Jenkins.
6 July, 2008: The defendant, Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, using the name Brandon Ebanks, purchased a refrigerator at BrandsMart USA in Miami, Florida.
11 September, 2008: Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, using the name Mikkyle Ebanks, and Mario Beckford delivered a refrigerator to Tropical Shipping … in Miami, Florida to be sent to Jerica Fellner in Grand Cayman.
27 September, 2008: The refrigerator that was sent by Mario Beckford to Jerica Fellner arrived in Grand Cayman and was picked up by Jerica Fellner and Robert Terry. (This section of the indictment has Fellner spelled with one “l”, but officials confirmed it refers to the same person).
29 September, 2008: Defendant Mikkyle Brandon Leslie flew from Miami, Florida to Grand Cayman.
8 October, 2008: Defendant Mikkyle Brandon Leslie flew from Grand Cayman to Miami, Florida.
Between 10 and 21 October, 2008: Mikkyle Brandon Leslie purchased four firearms and two thirty-three round magazines from Big Al’s Gun and Pawn in Broward County, Florida.
15 October, 2008: Michael Timothy Ebanks flew from Grand Cayman to Miami, Florida.
16 October, 2008: Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, Michael Ebanks and Jason Jenkins purchased a refrigerator at BrandsMart USA in Miami, Florida.
21 October, 2008: Mikkyle Brandon Leslie picked up four firearms form Big Al’s Gun and Pawn in Broward County, Florida.
4 November, 2008: Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, using the name Jason Jenkins, delivered a refrigerator containing five firearms, 800 rounds of ammunition, a magazine for an AK-47 type rifle and a magazine for a MAC-10 type pistol, to Tropical Shipping … in Miami, Florida for shipment to Ashley Watler in Grand Cayman.
12 November, 2008: Michael Ebanks and Ashley Watler paid Thompson Shipping Co. Ltd. in Grand Cayman approximately $184.77 for shipping fees for the refrigerator, which had been sent to Ashley Watler by Mikkyle Brandon Leslie.
13 November, 2008: Michael Ebanks attempted to obtain the refrigerator that had been sent to Ashley Watler by Mikkyle Brandon Leslie from the port in Grand Cayman.
Michael Timothy Ebanks was sentenced to five years imprisonment in Grand Cayman after being convicted for his role in the November 2008 ‘guns-in-fridge’ case.
Robert Terry was recently sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in connection with possession of a firearm that US prosecutors said had been used in 2009 to shoot at former Cayman Islands Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale’s home. While Terry was identified as the possessor of the firearm, there have been no charges against him or anyone else in connection with the shooting at Ms Ramsay-Hale’s home.
Please click here to read the indictment in pdf form.