Benjamin appeared before the Magistrate’s Court via Zoom but did not enter a plea.
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs Tiffany R. Scatliffe-Esprit said on the morning of October 13, 2020, around 6.07am, officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) as part of the investigations into the murder [of Matthew D. Daly] which occurred in Spring Ghut in September 2020, had cause to execute a search warrant on a residence at East End.
During that search, in a ground floor bedroom, a loaded Smith and Wesson handgun with 14 rounds of ammunition in the magazine was met in a black jacket that was hanging in the clothes closet of one of the males residing in the home.
As a result, the four persons who occupied the ground floor of the two-story house were arrested on suspicion of keeping an unlicensed firearm. They were taken to the Road Town Police Station where they were interviewed.
Three of the four persons stated that they had no knowledge of the firearm, but one of the individuals said on October 12, 2020, Benjamin visited his home which he was accustomed to doing. When he came, he brought the jacket and hung it in his closet but thought nothing of it being there until the discovery.
Benjamin was then met at the Road Town Police Station and was interviewed under caution about the firearm.
During the interview, he admitted that the jacket in question was his and he placed the firearm in it and gave it to one of the men living at the house to keep as he intended to take it at a later stage.
He said he never told the young man that there was a firearm in the jacket. As a result of this admittance, he was charged with the offence.
Checks were made, and it was confirmed by the RVIPF armoury that he did not have a license to carry the weapon.
With respect to bail, while the DPP did not object, she said: “We have reason to believe that this particular firearm that was found was in connection to the said investigation that started the search in the first instance.”
Scatliffe-Esprit added: “Mr Benjamin is a person of interest. He has not reached the suspect level yet and there is concern that there may be interference with the investigation if he was given bail.”
She said; however, he is from the VI and is not deemed a flight risk and asked for stringent measures for his bail.
The Senior Magistrate then made him a bail offer of $70,000 with two sureties, none of whom should be over 65 years old, and they must have property or cash indicating that, if it becomes necessary, they would be able to pay the bond each.
She also imposed a daily curfew of 6:00pm to 7:00am, and Benjamin must also surrender his travel documents and report to the East End Police Station every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7:00am and 12 noon.
The matter was adjourned to November 18, 2020.
Attorney Patrick D. Thompson is representing Benjamin.
Greenland man charged with keeping illegal firearm
Officers of the Major Crime Team have charged one man with keeping an illegal firearm after a search warrant executed yesterday, October 14, 2020, on a home in Greenland uncovered the loaded handgun.
Dajshon Benjamin, 24, of Greenland, Tortola, is to appear in court today, October 15, 2020, to face the charge, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) stated in a press release.
“Others will likely be also prosecuted in relation to the same weapon,” police stated.
Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews has said the recent arrests in firearm-related offences is due to the commendable tenacity of his officers.
According to the release, Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews said the recent arrests in firearm-related offences is due to the commendable tenacity of his officers.
“These officers push through many hours, well beyond most of us, to bring about these arrests without public fanfare or applause. Very few will understand or appreciate the patience and diligence required. I know what it requires and will consistently give them the praise and support they are due. They deserve it,” the Commissioner said.
Investigations are continuing into the matter.