American medical student held with ammo at airport fined
MONTEGO BAY, St James – An American national who was held with four rounds of ammunition at the Sangster International Airport was fined $200,000 in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.
Garrett Joel, a 22-year-old medical student from Georgia, pleaded guilty to unauthorised possession of ammunition. He is being represented by attorney-at-law Henry McCurdy.
According to court documents, on December 19, the investigating officer’s attention was drawn to the X-ray machine at the airport’s departure section.
While performing checks, the officer noticed what appeared to be images of ammunition. A search was conducted on a bag that the accused claimed belonged to him, and it was discovered to contain four 9mm Luger rounds in a small pocket at the front of the bag.
When cautioned, Joel reportedly said, “I don’t know how it got in the bag.”
In his mitigation plea, McCurdy said that his client was not aware that the rounds were in the bag.
“It was an oversight, and he apologised to the court and expressed remorse,” McCurdy said as he pleaded with the judge to be lenient.
In deciding Joel’s sentence, presiding Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley considered his previous good character and the fact that he had expressed remorse. She also noted that his early guilty plea showcased genuine remorse for the actions committed, and she acknowledged that the incomplete file does not diminish the weight of his admission of guilt, indicating a strong sense of accountability.
She then fined him $200,000 or 30 days in jail and ordered that his fingerprints not be taken.