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Jan 15, 2018 Crime Report

Firearms and Failure to Clear Customs

Two Americans were arrested for failing to clear customs in Abaco, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) reported on January 4.

According to the RBDF, officers learned that a boat had docked at a private residence in Marsh Harbour, Abaco without clearing customs on Thursday.

RBDF officers and customs officers searched the boat, as well as two homes in the vicinity and found a semi high-powered air pistol with four canisters, a Ruger pistol, two magazines and over 600 rounds of ammunition.

Officers also found a container of steel pellets, knives and a high-powered weapon with a telescope.

A fishing vessel was confiscated and the two Americans were handed over to police for further questioning.

“This marks the first arrest for the new year of individuals who have breached the laws of the country by the defence force,” the RBDF said in its statement.

“Last month, the defense force apprehended a tugboat and barge for illegally dredging sand in waters off the western end of New Providence, and recovered two stolen vessels.

“More recently, the defense force apprehended several foreigners, several of whom arrived in country as passengers aboard an international airline.

“All matters have been turned over to police, immigration, Port Department and fisheries authorities for further investigation with most matters resulting in ongoing cases before the courts.

“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to protecting the territorial environment of The Bahamas.”


Burglary Suspects Charged

The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) report that Deangelo Sawyer, aka Crime Boss, of Dundas Town, Abaco was arraigned January 8 at the Magistrate Court 1 in Nassau before Magistrate McKinney on one count of House Breaking and Stealing.

His co-accused, Jonas Merlien of the Mudd in Marsh Harbour, Abaco and Grand Cay, was also arraigned on single counts of House Breaking, Stealing, Possession of an imitation firearm and resisting arrest.

Both of the men were sentenced to three years each imprisonment at Her Majesty’s Prison in Fox Hill, New Providence.

The charges stemmed from a home invasion in Eastern Shores where a safe was stolen containing several thousand dollars and a number of expensive necklaces and other documents on December 28, 2017.


Boat Captain Appears in Court

A Bahamian boat captain and eight Chinese nationals rescued after a boat capsized in waters off Grand Bahama were arraigned in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court on December 2.

Lucner Laurent, 46, of Abaco, and the immigrants appeared in court before Deputy Chief Magistrate Debbye Ferguson on Tuesday.

The Chinese nationals – six men and two women – pleaded guilty to overstaying their time in The Bahamas. Meanwhile, Laurent was charged with eight counts of assisting in illegal embarkation.

They all pleaded guilty to the charges and were convicted. The immigrants were each fined $1,000 and in default will serve six months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

Laurent, who was represented by attorney Osman Johnson, was ordered to pay $8,000 or in default, serve six months for each count, totaling four years imprisonment.

According to initial reports, Laurent and the immigrants were spotted hanging on the bottom of the capsized vessel some 17 miles southwest of Grand Bahama when a tanker ship spotted them early in the morning on December 31.

At the time, Laurent claimed they had left Bimini for Grand Bahama when the boat developed engine problems and began taking on water and eventually capsized.

The crew handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force which later turned them over to the Bahamas immigration authorities in Grand Bahama.


Shooting Incident

Police in Abaco are investigating a shooting incident that has left a male with injuries.

Reports are that on Tuesday 16th January 2018, shortly before 1:00am, a male reportedly was standing in the area of a business establishment on Charles Sawyer Highway, when he was apparently shot to the leg. He was transported to the clinic via private vehicle and seen by  adoctor where he is said to be listed in stable condition.

Police are investigating this matter.


Bodies Found

Police are investigating two badly decomposed bodies which were discovered shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday, off the S.C. Bootle Highway in Abaco, police said.

Police received information that a body was seen in an area near Treasure Cay. When officers searched the area, they found two bodies in the bushes.

Both appeared to be male, police said. It is unclear how long the bodies were at the location.

Officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit (CDU), Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash said police are unsure of the sex or identities of the victims and a team of officers from CDU in the capital are in Abaco assisting police with their investigations.

Police also could not confirm whether the individuals were murdered, and noted that autopsies will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.

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