Tourist fined $1,000 over 6 bullets in carry-on luggage

No conviction recorded

Six bullets in her carry-on luggage cost a tourist $1,000 after she pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm (ammunition) without a license.

Paula Ashley Timmerman, of Austin, Texas, appeared before Magistrate Grace Donalds on Wednesday. She had been stopped at Owen Roberts Airport on Monday, April 11, when she and her mother were leaving the island.

Defense attorney John Furniss told the court that both the defendant and her husband hold firearm permits in their home state. The carry-on bag belonged to her husband and he did not check it before giving it to her to use for the trip and she did not check it either, the attorney said.

“They had been checked at the airport in Austin,” Mr. Furniss pointed out, “and nothing was found.” However, when the carry-on went through security in Cayman, the bullets were found in an outside pocket.

Mr. Furniss produced a letter sent by the defendant’s husband and confirming his wife’s explanation.

Mrs. Timmerman, 27, spent all of Tuesday between Customs and the new detention facility in Fairbanks, Mr. Furniss advised. Officials brought the files for Wednesday morning so that the matter could be heard and the defendant could leave Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Furniss pointed out that she had no criminal history anywhere and he asked that no conviction be recorded for this offense.

The magistrate agreed, but ordered payment of $1,000 as the costs of prosecution, not as a fine.

Mr. Furniss noted that his client did not hold hard feeling against anyone for the incident and she hoped to visit Cayman again. Her mother had stayed here with her, he added.