Masa Sentenced For Illegal Gun

Sherine Williams, Journalist | 0 Comment
December 07, 2017 4:40 pm AST
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Magistrate Ayanna Dabreo today, Decmber 7, sentenced Ramoamasagana Pemberton, popularly known as Masa, to 5 years in relation to a loaded illegal firearm which police found in his home last year.

Masa, who was charged with keeping an illegal firearm, will serve a 2-year prison sentence and a 3-year suspended sentence in relation to the charge.

He was also sentenced to 6 months for a charge of unlawful possession of explosives.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Masa was convicted after police used DNA evidence to match his fingerprints to those lifted from the items found in Purcell Estate back in April last year.

He was represented by Attorney Patrick Thompson.

Details of the Case

The prosecution led that on April 21, 2016 around 5:25 pm, officers received information that led them to conduct a search of a premises located in the Purcell Estate area.

Upon reaching the area, a silver box was found by a sheet of galvanize roofing. It was taken to the Road Town Police Station and opened in the presence of other officers. In the box was a black 9mm Glock .40 handgun with an extended magazine loaded with ammunition.

The following day, officers dismantled the gun and took swabs for DNA and fingerprints.

On June 30, detectives conducted further investigation and visited the home of Masa in Purcell Estate. There, the officers met Masa's father and armed with a warrant, detectives conducted a search, but nothing illegal was found.

Masa, who was not at home at the time his house was searched, then visited the Police Station around 7:45 am, where he was formerly cautioned about the gun. He voluntarily did a cautioned police audio interview where he said that he had never seen any firearm, let alone touch it.

However, a second interview was conducted later in the day where he changed his position and said that he had seen the gun during the course of 2015.

Masa told police that he was in the process of parking a scooter he was keeping for his friend when he saw the box and he went to investigate it. Upon doing so, the gun fell out of the box. The defendant said that he then placed the items back in the box and pushed all the items to the location where he found it.

He also told police he did not report the discovery because he did not want to be thought of as the person being in custody of the items. He also said that he did not wish to be identified as a witness in the matter as he feared for his safety.

Masa later consented to having his finger and palm prints recorded. The fingerprints were then compared to those found on the firearm box and yielded a positive match.
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