A local man accused in a five-count US federal court indictment of conspiring with other individuals to illegally ship firearms to Grand Cayman from Florida pleaded not guilty to those charges during a Tuesday afternoon court hearing.
According to records from the US District Court, southern district of Florida, Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, aka Brandon Leslie Ebanks, was notified for trial and a discovery hearing set in the case for 11 January.
Leslie was arrested earlier this month in the US in connection with an investigation that has identified roughly a dozen individuals – most of them from the Cayman Islands – that were “participants in the firearms smuggling activities”.
Leslie’s alleged activities, according to a federal criminal indictment handed up on 22 December, were that he participated in the illegal shipping of firearms from the Miami area to Grand Cayman between May and November 2008.
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.
An indictment is merely a charge of criminal activity and does not constitute a conviction.
Investigations into gun smuggling activities in Cayman and Florida between 2008 and 2009 have led to the jailing of four Caymanian men in the US and at least two others here in the Cayman Islands.