A 19-year-old plumber from Belmont, charged with being in possession of eight assault rifles, was yesterday granted $500,000 bail.
Aaron Rogers, of St Francois Valley Road, Belmont, was granted bail after he appeared before Magistrate Aden Stroude in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court, yesterday morning.
Police prosecutors objected to bail for the teenager as they claim that he fell under the Bail (Amendment) Act 2019, which denies bail to repeat offenders charged with firearm possession for 120 days.
They also asked Stroude to consider the number of firearms that Rogers is accused of being in possession of.
Rogers’ lawyer Alexia Romero challenged the claim as she pointed out that he had one conviction for robbery with aggravation from 2017, which was removed from his criminal record after he completed court-ordered community service.
Romero noted that the offence does not fall within the schedule of offences covered by the legislation.
She also challenged the strength of the police’s case as she noted that Rogers was arrested while sleeping in the back-seat of a car, which was not his.
Stroude eventually agreed with Romero and granted Rogers bail.
According to reports, Rogers was arrested, last Thursday, while police were conducting an anti-crime exercise at a housing complex in his community.
It was during a search of a Nissan Almera, which Rogers was sitting in that police allegedly found the disassembled AR-15 assault rifles and 14 magazines, hidden in two speaker boxes in the trunk of the car.
Rogers was among 11 persons, who were arrested during the exercise.
On Tuesday, Romero and attorney Wayne Sturge filed a series of habeas corpus applications challenging their continued detention without being charged.
Before the case could come up for an emergency hearing before a High Court Judge on the Republic Day public holiday, Rogers was charged and the others were released by police.
Rogers, who is also being represented by Kirby Joseph, will reappear in court on October 31.