A second man charged in connection with an alleged gun running operation that shipped firearms between south Florida and Grand Cayman during 2008 and 2009 pleaded not guilty in United States federal court this week.
According to court records in the US Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Alexander Michael Henry [known to Cayman Islands authorities as Michael Alexander Henry] pleaded not guilty to a five-count federal indictment against him and had a trial date set for early July.
The court also set a stipulated bond for Henry’s release pending further court appearances and trial. The stipulated corporate surety was placed under what’s known in the US court system as a “Nebbia requirement” or a “Nebbia hold”.
A “Nebbia hold” requires whoever posts the bond for a criminal suspect to provide proof that funds used for the bail premium and collateral originate from legitimate and legal means. The holds are used generally to prevent someone from posting a bond using funds acquired by illegal means; drug trafficking, theft, money laundering and the like.
Henry, 29, was arrested in April at a North Carolina airport by US air marshals, according to federal court records. He had flown there from Grand Cayman earlier that day.
Henry has been indicted, along with Mikkyle Brandon Leslie, in federal court as a suspect in the US-Cayman probe which has identified several shipments of firearms and ammunition that were sent from the Miami/Broward County area to Grand Cayman during 2008 and 2009.
Four other suspects have been charged in the case along with Leslie and Henry, but their identities have so far been kept secret in charge records produced by American law enforcement.
According to those records, Henry’s alleged involvement in the gun smuggling was related to a smuggling incident that was heretofore unknown in the Cayman Islands, prior to the Caymanian Compass’ reporting on the federal investigation last December.
Charges against Henry indicate: “On or about February 6, 2009, [Defendant 3 – an indicted but unnamed individual] and Mikkyle Brandon Leslie caused boxes containing a lamp, ceiling fans, and a vacuum cleaner, all of which contained concealed firearms, to be shipped from Port Everglades, Broward County, Florida to Grand Cayman through a freight forwarder to Henry under the name of Michael Henry.
“On or about February 13, 2009, upon returning to Grand Cayman [Defendant 3] and Henry obtained the boxes that had been shipped to Henry and took them to [a residence] in Grand Cayman.” Earlier investigative records also revealed the involvement of Leslie and another defendant in shipping guns in boxes containing a vacuum cleaner, lamps, ceiling fans and other items purchased at a Home Depot in Hialeah, Florida.
Henry faces federal charges of conspiracy, fraudulent exportation and illegal exportation of firearms from the US to Grand Cayman.
An indictment is merely an accusation of criminal activity and does not constitute a conviction or admission of guilt.
A November trial date has been set in the Mikkyle Brandon Leslie case. The trial is now set for 13 November in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before US District Judge William Zloch. Leslie has already pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment against him.