Dominica: Magistrate to sentence US national on gun-related charges

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A magistrate will on May 5 sentence an American national after he pleaded guilty to being in possession of a firearm as well as several rounds of ammunition without being the holder of the required licenses.

Jason James Grogg has been remanded at the Stock Farm Prison. He is also jointly charged with his wife, Jennifer, on a charge of trafficking.

She too, has been remanded to prison until May 5.

The court heard that on April 17, the Anti-Crime Task Force obtained a search warrant to search the premises of Grogg, 44, originally from Logansport, Indiana, and now resident of Dominica.

Police as well as members of the Customs and Excise Division searched the premises where a Glock 19 pistol, fitted with a laser sight and one loaded Glock 9mm magazine containing 15 rounds of ammunition were found.

He was cautioned but told the law enforcement officials that “it’s mine, I was the one who purchased it in the States”.

According to the police, the accused said that he had in his possession the keys for a 40-foot container, situated on the compound of a church, west of here. The container was subsequently seized by Customs.

The court heard that the container was searched in the presence of the accused and his attorney a plastic container containing 17, 20-gauge Winchester ammunition inside a black plastic flowerpot was found. The search also revealed 120 rounds of other ammunition.

The police also searched a house where the accused resided and found two 9mm Glock magazines each containing 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Cautioned by the police in the presence of his attorney, the US national said ammunition was his and that “I brought them here accidentally”.

In mitigation, attorney Jilane Prevost told the court that her client and his family had migrated to Dominica temporally in 2021 for the sole purpose of doing “missionary work” and that before his arrival on the island, he was closely associated with various churches and charitable organizations.

“Since his entry into Dominica, he and his family have been well-liked and respected throughout the Mahaut community and known for their charitable work,” she said, adding that her client is the “sole provider” for his entire family.

“He is a member of the National Rifle in the USA and teaches voluntary firearms safety to 15-year-olds…he is also versed on the safe use of various firearms and that is the reason for him being the holder of various types of firearms and ammunition,” Prevost said, adding that her client had no intention to import, export, or traffic any unlawful things into Dominica.

“He has been honest, forthright, and very cooperative with the police and he has taken his blame courageously irrespective of his lack of knowledge and intentions,” she said, telling the court that he has “no criminal records and was someone of good character and standings”.

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