Bullet in purse costs tourist $1,000

Airport X-ray catches illegal object

A visitor from Texas had her vacation extended unexpectedly when security service staff at Owen Roberts International Airport found a bullet in her purse. 

The woman, Jennifer Stutts, had been scheduled to return home to Texas on Wednesday, June 24, but was obliged to stay until Thursday for appearance in Summary Court. 

She pleaded guilty to possession of an unlicensed firearm – one .380 round of ammunition. Cayman’s Firearms Law includes ammunition in the definition of a firearm. 

Crown counsel Greg Walcolm said Stutts placed her bag on the conveyor belt for a security check and an object was seen that resembled a bullet. The bag was searched and the round recovered. She was then escorted to a search room, where she was arrested and cautioned. 

The Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team attended. In her interview, Stutts said she had been moving homes at the beginning of the year when she found the bullet on the floor. She explained that she threw it in her purse and forgot it was there. 

Stutts was bailed until Thursday, when she appeared before Magistrate Philippa McFarlane. She entered her plea and apologized to the court, saying it was an honest mistake. 

The magistrate told her, “In this jurisdiction we take such matters extremely seriously. Don’t let it happen again.” 

She added that the courts have dealt with such offenses before and she imposed a fine of $1,000. The defendant indicated that she hoped to leave the island on a 4 p.m. flight. 

A Customs officer volunteered that Stutts’s bail had been set at US$1,250, so the money being held could be used to pay the fine. 

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  1. The latest example of Cayman’s stupid "firearms" law. A single bullet in the possession of a tourist is not equivalent to a gun. Why aren’t you cracking down on machetes and knives, which are used to commit most crimes against people there? You continue to make Cayman look like a backward third-world country with such nonsense. Or maybe you just enjoy taking advantage of innocent tourists. At any rate, you might be happy with the $1,000 fine, but this is going to cost the country more in the long-term. How many people do you think this women and her family are going to tell about this? How many visits do you think will be prevented as a result. My guess: at least five.

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  2. An obvious mistake on behalf of the visitor. Case should never have been bought.

    I once did something similar some years ago, flying from Tampa to Miami totally forgetting I had a small pepper spray canister in my hand baggage.

    I only found it when in the hotel in Miami. But if it had been found by airport security it would have been confiscated, nothing more.

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  3. This is obviously the Lady was not bring in any more than one bullet, I glad that she didn’t have the gun, and really the Judge could not take her excuse. I think that this kind of action causes more damages to the Cayman Islands tourism , than the $1,000 would benefit. I hope that customs and the Judge reconsider this one bullet coming in to the Islands fine, I could see one been fined for a gun and several rounds of bullets.

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