Guilty plea in firearms charge

Defendant convicted of earlier firearms charge; sentencing for both due on Oct. 21

Jose Guadalupe Sanchez, 29, pleaded guilty on Friday afternoon to possession of an unlicensed firearm in Cruz Lane, George Town, on June 8, 2015.

Sentencing was adjourned until Oct. 21, when he was scheduled to return to Grand Court for sentencing on a similar offense – possession of an unlicensed firearm at the Everglo Bar in Bodden Town on the night of July 4, 2015.

He had pleaded not guilty to the Bodden Town charge and elected trial by judge alone. Justice Charles Quin found him guilty in August this year, saying the Crown witnesses were truthful and reliable, and the evidence was overwhelming.

In that case, Sanchez was charged with possessing a semiautomatic 9 mm pistol.

In the George Town charge, no description of the firearm was given.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran did not give any background to the charge on Friday.

It is expected that a summary will be provided at the sentencing hearing, along with mitigation by defense attorney Guy Dilliway-Parry.

The Firearms Law sets 20 years as the maximum sentence on conviction for a firearm offense. The minimum is 10 years when a person is found guilty and seven years when a person pleads guilty. Both of these minimums, however, are not absolute; the judge may impose a lesser sentence if he finds there are exceptional circumstances.

The law does not appear to provide a set sentence for a second or subsequent offense.

In connection with the Bodden Town incident, Ashley Terry, 26, and Sean Luke Dunbar, 22, are also scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 21. Justice Quin continued their bail until then. Sanchez has been in custody since his arrest.