Two men in custody on a burglary charge were recommended for deportation after they pleaded guilty to other offenses.
Johan Manuel Acosta-Sierra and Trinidad Bienvenido, both Dominican nationals, appeared before Magistrate Valdis Foldats on Thursday.
They were arrested in June and initially charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, together with another unidentified person, in the South Sound area. They were later charged with burglary.
Both men also faced charges of going equipped for stealing and taking and driving away a conveyance without the owner’s consent. On Thursday, Crown counsel Eleanor Fargin told the court that these charges, along with the burglary, were being left on file (not proceeded with at this time).
Acosta-Sierra pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods. Bienvenido pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and giving a false name to a police officer.
Both men were on work permits: Acosta-Sierra, 25, as a chef and Bienvenido, 31, as an employee in a hairdressing salon.
Ms. Fargin advised that the permits had expired since the men’s arrest. With convictions, they would not be able to apply for a renewal and she asked that they be deported.
She explained that Bienvenido was charged after he and an unidentified man were seen by police entering a compound in South Sound. When sighted, Bienvenido ran back to a parked car. Questioned by the officers, he gave a false name.
He subsequently pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and giving the false name.
Defense attorney John Furniss said Bienvenido went to the premises “to meet certain young ladies and he was looking around, but the only young ladies around were police officers and he ran.” The name he gave was the name he was known by at work.
Bienvenido had moved in with Acosta-Sierra at the suggestion of his employer to cut down expenses. This occurred shortly before police searched Acosta-Sierra’s room, Mr. Furniss said.
Acosta-Sierra pleaded guilty to two charges of handling stolen goods: a Rolex watch, which matched the description of a watch stolen in May; a TV, flashlight and table lamps with a total value of US$2,650, taken during a burglary on June 9.
Defense attorney Amelia Fosuhene pointed out that the goods were recovered during one search of her client’s room and asked the court to consider the matter as one count. She said Acosta-Sierra had made early admissions, saying he thought the goods might not be legitimate.
The magistrate sentenced Acosta-Sierra to six months in prison for handling stolen goods, with credit for time served, and sentenced Bienvenido to four months in prison for criminal trespass, with a term of two months concurrent for giving a false name to police.
The magistrate noted that he did not have the power to order deportation, but he did have the power to recommend it, which he proceeded to do.