Woman fined for bullet in bag

One round found as tourist was leaving Cayman

A woman visiting Cayman was fined $750 on Thursday after pleading “guilty, unintentionally” to a charge of possession of a firearm (ammunition) without a license. 

Joetta Elizabeth Decker, from North Carolina, U.S., was arrested at Owen Roberts International Airport on Wednesday when she was departing after a week’s visit.  

Crown Counsel Marilyn Brandt said Decker’s carry-on bag was being scanned when a round object was seen. A search was requested and one live round of .22 ammunition was found. 

Decker, 50, told authorities she had come into possession of the bullet two days before she traveled to Cayman. She explained that it was unlawful in her home jurisdiction to transport any firearm while loaded. She had therefore put the gun in the trunk of her car and the bullets in her purse. She said she thought she cleared her purse before traveling and did not realize that one round was left inside. 

Magistrate Grace Donalds asked if the defendant wished to say anything. Decker repeated that her offending was unintentional. “I would like to ask that you not give me a criminal record and not ban me from the island,” she said. 

The magistrate replied that the offense was very serious and not the kind for which she would be minded to invoke sections of the law that provide for not recording a conviction. 

She imposed a fine of $750 or one month in custody in lieu of payment. The defendant said she would pay the fine. 


  1. When Mr. Bumble said in Oliver Twist, The law is an ass he got it right.

    This obviously was an innocent mistake and the case never should have been prosecuted.

    There are real criminals to pursue and punish.

  2. 750 fine for possession of a .22 calibre bullet which is about the size of a small peanut. Furthermore it was on its way out of the country and not coming in. There are much more serious crimes committed here and are treated more leniently than possession of a mere bullet. Parking meters are a much more guaranteed way of income for government than waiting for an occasional law breaker from the states and one who is leaving.

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