Magistrate fines Arima teen who gave up rifle

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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A 17-year-old who pleaded guilty to possession of an AR rifle has been fined $16,000 by an Arima magistrate.

On Wednesday, senior magistrate Brambhanan Dubay fined the teenager $10,000 for possession of the firearm and $6,000 for possession of ammunition.

Police charged the teenager, his brother and mother in April 2021.

After the guilty plea was entered, the teen’s attorney Shervon Noreiga asked the magistrate to consider his client’s age, his guilty plea, and his assistance to the police by giving them the rifle without having them search for it.

Noreiga also said before the arrest, his client ws training with one of the national football teams and spent a month in the Youth Training and Rehabilitation Centre before being under a 24-hour house lockdown after he got bail.

He also said the teenager had never been arrested before, nor was the rifle used in the commission of a crime.

In sentencing the teenager, the magistrate issued a strong warning and told him how lucky he was, since a conviction for possession of such a weapon attracted a four-year prison term.

In the summary of evidence police presented to the court, the teenager and his relatives were arrested on April 28, 2021, at Marjorie Padmore Avenue, Phase 1, La Horquetta, after police executed a search warrant.

The teenager went to a bedroom, where he retrieved a black plastic bag from under a crib and gave it to the officers. The bag contained an AR rifle and one magazine with 31 rounds of ammunition.

They were taken to the La Horquetta police station, where they were charged.

The teen’s mother and brother return to court next week.