A 28-year-old woman charged with importing 19 illegal firearms in a shipping barrel containing dog food has been granted $350,000 in bail.
Hafeisha Dillon, a geriatric nurse from Globe Theatre Lane, San Juan, was granted bail after she appeared before Magistrate Nanette Forde-John in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court charged under the Customs Act with importing prohibited items into T&T.
Dressed in a plaid shirt, jeans and her head tied in a wrap, Dillon stood silently in the prisoner enclosure and was not called upon to plead to the charge, which was laid indictably.
Attorney Harricharan Cassie, who prosecutes on behalf of the Customs and Excise Division, did not object to bail for Dillon, but asked Forde-John to apply strict conditions to her bail considering the quantity of weapons she is alleged to have imported.
Forde-John agreed and ordered Dillon to surrender her passport and report to police three times weekly for the duration of her case.
The T&T Guardian understands that Dillon was unable to access her bail up to late yesterday and was remanded into custody.
During yesterday’s hearing, Cassie and two officers from division unpacked the plastic shipping barrel which was brought to court on a trolley to be tendered into evidence.
The barrel, bearing Dillon’s name, address and telephone number on the side, contained the illegal weapons, a large bag of dog food, two large bags of flour, two pairs of shoes and a quantity of nutritional supplement drinks.
The weapons included two AK47 assault rifles, two shotguns and 15 handguns, as well as the quantity of assorted ammunition.
Dillon, who is employed at a home for the elderly in Santa Cruz, was arrested last Wednesday as she allegedly went to clear the barrel at Piarco Air Services’ bonded warehouse in El Socorro, San Juan.
She was allegedly the second consignee to attempt to clear a barrel containing dog food that day. The other consignee was eventually arrested and his shipment seized after Dillon was detained.
The other suspect remained in police custody up to late yesterday but had not been charged. He is expected to be taken to court later this week.
Dillon was represented by Devon Williams and Kelston Pope and will reappear in court on July 3.
SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Derek Achong)