Fishermen charged with using prohibited apparatus
A fisherman who admitted to illegally diving with a compressor was yesterday fined $1,500.
Leslie Rolle, 27, of Exuma, was among a group of five fishermen arrested by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) in the area of Flamingo Cay on June 11.
RBDF personnel on patrol in the area saw Rolle using the compressor, Sergeant Kendrick Bauld, the prosecutor, said.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a prohibited apparatus at his arraignment before Magistrate Samuel McKinney.
Defence lawyer Ryszard Humes said that Rolle made a “poor decision” to use the compressor.
According to Humes, Rolle used the compressor to get more fish, but none of the catch was illegal or undersized.
Rolle paid the fine to avoid a three-month prison sentence.
As a result of his guilty plea, the prosecutor withdrew the charge against Oris Bowleg, Terrance Butler, Alistano Smith and Deshano Newton.
Meanwhile, eight Eleuthera fisherman, who the RBDF allegedly found with three compressors on June 11, denied the charge at their arraignment before McKinney.
Garrison Sweeting, Travis Sweeting, Andy Lowe, Kirkwood Pinder, Keadley Sweeting, Trevon Smith, Michael Wood and Kristian Saunders remain on bail. They are represented by Christina Galanos.
McKinney tentatively set their trial for August 31 in Eleuthera.