Charges dismissed against immigration officer

Charges were dismissed Friday afternoon against Jeannie Lewis, the suspended immigration officer accused of permitting consumption of controlled drugs at her home and of knowingly assisting a person to remain unlawfully in the Cayman Islands.

Jeannie Lewis

Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn recounted the Crown’s evidence against Lewis and concluded that she was left unconvinced.

While certain circumstances of the case were described as suspicious, Gunn reminded the court room that the burden of proof falls on the Crown. In this case, she found the Crown did not meet the burden.

“I was persuaded that the defendant genuinely disapproves of consumption of drugs,” Gunn said, pointing to Lewis’s exemplary record in immigration enforcement.

Lewis was arrested more than three years ago following a raid on her home on 25 Aug. 2016. During the raid, ganja was discovered in her adult son’s bedroom and in a back shed.

Gunn said it was reasonable to believe that Lewis no longer tidied her adult son’s room, preventing her from finding the ganja.

She added that police only reported detecting the scent of ganja in the shed area and not in the home.

Regarding the discovery of ganja in a lime green bag on a table, Gunn said she could not exclude the possibility that the bag had been moved during the investigation.

“I cannot be sure that ganja was left in plain view in a communal area,” Gunn said.

During the 2016 raid, police also discovered Antonio Bullard, a Bahamian national who turned out to be an illegal lander.

Gunn was persuaded that Lewis had no reason to question Bullard’s immigration status. In court Friday, Bullard was described a friend of her son.

“I am not persuaded that she would be questioning the status of every new friend of her son,” Gunn said, adding that Bullard’s American accent further diminished any suspicion she may have had.

Gunn said she accepted Lewis’s argument that should would have reported any illegal immigrants who came to her attention.