Indictment Florida-Cayman gun smuggling case

 

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. That is quite the interesting list of names. Are any of these people still on Grand Cayman? Have any of these people been arrested or even questioned by the RCIPS?

    I would think not, or we would have heard about it.

  2. This individual will receive a shock when he deals with the US justice system and US corrections system. No doubt he will become very talkative about his activities and fellow smugglers.

  3. An indictment is merely a charge of criminal activity and does not constitute a conviction.

    Caycompass

    With all due respect that has to be paid to this excellent investigative reporting, the above statement could be construed as sending a mixed message or at least be termed misleading, if not explained in more depth.

    The U.S. federal criminal justice system does not, in any way, function similar to the British or Caymanian justice system and its obviuos that many people in both Britain and the Cayman Islands has absolutely no clue about this.

    This indictment constitutes a major FEDERAL criminal charge against Brandon Leslie…with all the other people named in the indictment as conspirators.

    An indictment and conviction in federal court in the USA for a foreign national is no small matter, especially on a gang-related charge such as gun-running(smuggling).

    Contrary to the popular belief spread in Cayman, by none other than your own Commissioner of Police, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that gives the right to bear arms in the USA does not allow for illegal usage, and smuggling of firearms across state-lines and international borders.

    These are MAJOR federal offenses in the USA, and carry the maximum penalties of at least 20 years in prison upon conviction.

    If you notice, Brandon Leslie is being charged with each seperate offense, meaning he could be convicted on each seperate charge and given consecutive sentences for each charge.

    If this happens, he will spend the rest of his young life in a federal penitentiary.

    The other issue to consider is that these co-conspirators have been now named in this indictment.

    Each and every single one of them now face arrest on conspiracy charges of gun-smuggling upon their next entry to the USA.

    If the USA decides to play hard-ball with the Cayman Islands, upon conviction of Brandon Leslie, extradition procedures can also be started to get these co-conspirators before a US federal court.

    Or their travel/visitors visas to the USA cancelled; this is now happening on a regular basis to foreign nationals now known to be involved in gang-related activity.

    It was just such an extradition order that has Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, reputed Shower Posse leader in Jamaica, now serving time in a federal penitentiary on similar charges.

    The question is also raised; if Brandon Leslie had been convicted on the murder charge for which he, and others, were acquitted, none of this other criminal activity and others involved would have come to light.

    Cayman’s law-enforcement authorities can dodge and dive all they wish but the question of arrest for these other named Caymanian conspirators remains an outstanding issue; if it is not addressed, the Cayman Islands Govt. stand open to question in federal court as well.

    The US federal system does not pay respect to names, personalities or family connections and these co-conspirators will be arrested and charged upon entry to the USA, just as Brandon Leslie was.

    Or possibly face extradition proceedings to the USA.

  4. This could make such a great movie. Police and political corruption, low life gang members, shoot out of judge’s house and the best is we can get Kitchen Aid to sponcer it and then they can show how spacious there fridges are.

    But seriously! This makes the Cayman Police and court look like Nigeria!

  5. Oooohhh…

    I can guarantee you, he most certainly will…

    just as all the other little Caymanian ‘bad boy’ gun smugglers are now doing.

    Where do you believe the federal agencies got the information for this indictment from ?

    They’re all singing like sweet little yellow canaries in their federal ‘bird cages’ now.

    And the songs that they’re singing is sweet music to the ears of the federal agents interrogating them…

    But certainly not a many people in Cayman.

  6. No, my friend, much closer to home than Nigeria…Jamaica, to be more exact.

    Take this as the almost identical example; an extradition order comes to the desk of Prime Minister Bruce Golding for the extradition of one Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, reputed gang leader of the notorious Shower Posse and area don for PM Golding’s West Kingston constituency of the notorious garrison community of Tivoli Gardens…extradition charges include gun-smuggling, identical to the charges now laid against Cayman’s Brandon Leslie, aka Kalashnikov, by a FEDERAL GRAND JURY, non-the-less.

    PM Golding hires a US law firm to challenge this indictment, instead of executing the extradition order against Coke, his political ally and strong-man in his own political constituency.

    When this challenge fails, Prime Minster Golding finally issues the extradition order and orders Coke arrested, leading to one of the worst-ever civil confrontations between the state of Jamaica and a civilian army, leaving 76 persons dead, including members of Jamaica’s armed forces.

    Coke is finally apprehended and arrested and extraditied to the USA, where he too, sings like a sweet little yellow canary, to federal investigators.

    Result ? The resignation of Prime Minister Bruce Golding of Jamaica from his post…and still to answer questions regarding his relationship with area don and convicted arms and drug smuggler, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

    Now let the Caymanian and British Governments continue to fool themselves into thinking that similar proceedings has not started in this gun-smuggling case before the US federal court for the named Caymanian/British citizens involved.

    What is good for the Jamaican goose, is certainly good for the Caymanian gander…

    As the Cayman Islands will soon find out.

  7. Since this gun smuggling case is so similar to Jamaica’s gun smuggling case involving the extradition of Dudas; I would imagine that the missing pieces of the puzzle for Cayman would involve some very high and even political ties and connections?

    I believe some very high profile names are being called perhaps and there will be more extraditions at the most sophisticated level, the untouchable kind?
    Who in Cayman politics may be under investigation by the Federal Government, I’ll bet you there’s some smoke to this fire…..

  8. The similarities are simply too glaring and too many to ignore and…

    People in high places and power can threaten and intimidate Cayman’s press and citizens but they cannot threaten or intimidate the US Federal Government.

    If the Cayman Islands and Britain think that the FBI has not now already started an investigation into Cayman’s law enforcement agencies, and possibly political leadership, let them think again.

    Depending on what those little yellow canaries are singing, this is the biggie that’s been waiting around the corner for the high level corruption in the Cayman Islands that Britain simply refuses to address.

    Its about time the citizens of Cayman saw some justice done and if it is the US Government to mete it out, then let it be so.

  9. MB,

    Thanks for mentioning Nigeria.Did I hear someone on Radio Cayman or Rooster yesterday or day before that Cayman’s RCIP has recruited police from Nigeria the crime and fraud Capital of the world? If this is so, no wonder we cant get anything solved and have so many scams around.

Comments are closed.