A tourist from New Jersey had his stay in Cayman extended by a day and his holiday budget expanded by $750 after airport security personnel found a bullet in his backpack.

The man, 36, appeared before Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn on Thursday, March 1, when he pleaded guilty to importing a single round of .55 ammunition on Feb. 20.

Deputy director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran said the defendant was about to depart on a flight from Owen Roberts International Airport on Wednesday, Feb. 28, when an inspection of his backpack revealed the single bullet.

Questioned by Customs officers, he presented his firearms license in his home state and told them he owned two guns. He said he had no knowledge of that single round being in his backpack.

The defendant, who identified himself as a restaurant owner, said he believed the bullet had fallen into his bag while he was packing.

He said he hoped this incident would not prevent him from visiting his family in Cayman in the future.

Given his good character, his guilty plea and his explanation, the magistrate did not record a conviction, but ordered him to pay $750 in costs.

She pointed out that in the Cayman Islands possession of a firearm without a license is a serious offense and some firearms offenses attract a mandatory minimum seven years imprisonment.

The fact that his bullet was found at the Cayman airport showed how thorough local personnel were, the magistrate said. How officials of the Transportation Security Administration did not identify the bullet on the defendant’s way out of the U.S. baffled her, she added.

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.



  1. This happens all too often. Kudos to our vigilant security staff but realistically this man posed no threat to these islands. In fact he was leaving. Weneed signs when people ENTER the country explaining our tough policy on firearms

  2. I have to agree that it’s happening far too often that one bullet is found in someone luggage on the way out of the Island . I still think that there could have been more than one bullet that came into the Island on that trip/stay .
    So it would sound like the security Officers are doing a better job than the Custom Officers because they’re the ones who are responsible for protecting the borders .
    I think that we need better arrival security .