U.S. citizen David Dean Meadors was bailed Monday afternoon after appearing in Summary Court on charges of possession of unlicensed firearms, including a handgun and 240 rounds of ammunition in Cayman Brac.
Meadors, 52, was in the process of building a retirement home on the Brac, defense attorney Laura Larner told Magistrate Valdis Foldats. She said her client now understood that the charges were serious and she asked for bail so they could discuss pleas and prepare mitigation.
Crown Counsel Neil Kumar objected to bail.
Mr. Kumar said customs officers visited Songbird Drive to inspect a shipping container on Friday, July 7. Along with construction materials and household items, they found boxes containing a total of 240 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Meadors reportedly told the officers he was not aware that there was ammunition in the container. He was asked if he had any firearms and he said no. He was taken to the police station, booked and asked again if he had any firearms. He said he had one.
He was then transported to the studio apartment where he was living and officers found a Glock 9mm handgun. In a closet they found a Smith and Wesson BB gun with a pack of copperhead BBs and two gas cartridges. He did not have a permit to import firearms.
Mr. Kumar said Meadors was interviewed on July 9. He said he had brought the Glock in checked baggage on a commercial flight more than three or four months ago. It was in a secured container and had not been removed from a locked case. Meadors told officers the gun had been “purchased specifically for here.” He made reference to trips to the Bahamas and boating purposes.
Ms. Larner said it seemed to be incredibly easy for U.S. citizens to bring in checked baggage with firearms and ammunition.
She described the defendant as a responsible businessman who, with his wife, owned three operative businesses. He was on the Brac because they were building a property there, intended as their retirement home.
He has spent more than a million dollars, Ms. Larner told the court, so he did have ties to Cayman. He had invested not only money, but also his reputation. They had visited around 25 times in the past year, coming to manage the construction.
Ms. Larner said Meadors was not a criminal or a gang member; his intention was innocent. She noted that there was no ammunition for the Glock at the residence.
Ms. Larner said that gun possession in American culture is not only legal, but also commonplace. Meadors and his wife both had permits to carry guns and he had more than 20 weapons.
They had experience with taking a gun when they sailed their boat to Bahamas, Ms. Larner advised. She agreed that Meadors should have checked more carefully about regulations in Cayman, but “the culture and attitude in the U.S. is so different from here,” she emphasized.
The ammunition was not meant to come to the Brac, she continued. The household goods were to have been shipped to their home in Florida.
As part of the bail conditions, the court received Meadors’ land documents and the magistrate said the defendants’ property would be charged $100,000. Three Caymanian sureties were offered, for a total amount of $23,000, as well as a cash security of US$5,000.
Meadors will also be under a 24-hour curfew at a specified hotel on Grand Cayman, and was required to surrender his travel documents.
He is scheduled to reappear in court on July 19.