Pallets with guns left storage facility in Cat Cay, court hears
Three pallets of groceries and appliances left a storage facility in Cat Cay near Bimini without permission from Bahamas Customs, a court heard yesterday.
The revelation was made during the trial of Patrick Rolle, Travis Demeritte and Bronell Humes, who are facing charges related to the discovery of 16 guns and 867 rounds of ammunition in those pallets at the Potter’s Cay Dock on August 19.
Police arrested Demeritte and his mother, Humes, when they collected the items from the dock.
Alfreda Neely, the customs officer responsible for Cat Cay, told the court that the pallets, which were registered to Rolle, arrived on the Bimini Cat from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on August 11.
Neely said two of the pallets were covered in black shrink wrap and the third pallet, which contained laundry detergents, was covered in clear shrink wrap.
Neely said she did not inspect the pallets, but that Rolle signed the bills of lading when he came to leave an $800 deposit for them. At the time, Neely said she informed Rolle, a dockmaster at the Cat Cay Yacht Club, that he needed to come in to do a spot check, but he never returned.
Neely said she instructed that the pallets be placed in storage until the duty was paid. On August 19, Neely said she saw Rolle again and he told her that guns had been found in the pallets.
Up to this point, Neely said she was unaware that the pallets had been removed from storage. Neely said she told her boss that the items were removed without her permission.
During cross-examination by defense lawyer Tai Pinder, Neely said Rolle did not inspect the items in her presence. However, she said Customs considered the items his because his name was on the bills of lading. Neely said she was not the only person with keys to the storage area.
Also testifying was Amos Saunders, a forklift operator at the Cat Cay Yacht Club. Saunders said Neely asked him to put Rolle’s pallets in storage on August 11. He said he next saw the items when they were being loaded onto the Cherice M mail boat by Cleo Sears, another forklift operator.
The case continues before Gun Court Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt on December 16.
Garvin Gaskin, the deputy director of public prosecution, is marshalling the evidence.