American visitor jailed for bullets in her bag


An American visitor, Shannon Martinez, who spent two weeks here vacationing with her family was arrested as she tried to leave the country yesterday.

Authorities at the VC Bird International Airport allegedly found twenty 9mm ammunition in her luggage.

It is believed the woman, 44 of Texas,  entered the country will the bullets but it went undetected by both US authorities and local authorities.

The woman was arrested and charged and appeared before an All Saints Magistrates Court today.

She was jailed for one year for the offense.

Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel reportedly imposed the sentence in accordance with recent amendments to the Firearms Act which removed fines as an option for punishment.

Martinez took ill following the ruling and had to be taken to Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.

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  1. Hope she enjoys her stay at Hotel 1735. She won’t try to pull that stunt again after her vacation behind that red door.

  2. That could have been an honest mistake especially if she has a license to carry a firearm in the US. I work for the department of Homeland Security and we come across situations like this all the time because people have licensed firearms. This offence would be a fined offence. What good is it doing for her to be in jail? Impose a heavy fine and send the lady on her way especially if she was non violent or non combative and she did not have a gun to go with the bullets. Now the government responsible for taking care of her. Ridiculous…that’s why the jail overcrowded and Antigua bankrupt.

    • You try that “honest mistake” leaving her entering America and your black a$$ you be in jail too.

  3. This is so wrong. We all know it was an honest mistake. Just fine the woman and send send her home. Common sense shows that…if she brought them for someone, they would not be in the bag. Had she discovered them, they would not be in the bag.
    Having lived in South Florida and the holder of a concealed weapon permit, l had bullets in my gun bag all the time. I had a large bag to carry the bulky plastic cases of the weapons, ear muffs, eye protection, bullet cases and other stuff.
    She could have just thrown her clothing into a similar large bag which could be that of a relative or friend.
    That sentence of a year in jail might get Trump’s attention. It must be appealed. Hash and draconian… ☹😓😢

  4. You know what’s funny, if it was a local it wouldn’t have been an honest mistake. Who is to say that she didn’t get them here cause it was convenient to her. You’re traveling is this something you’re suppose to be traveling with? When white people do things it’s a mistake?

    • I totally agree with you. If she was a local or even a Jamacian it would not have been a mistake. Sh would gave bee the most harden criminal. Smh why are we as Antiguans and black peiple so stupid and narrowminded. What makes her so special cause she is an American. SMDH

    • White or black it doesnt make a difference in this case. Clearly she is a visitor so the common sense thing to do is impose the fine which would benefit the country not put her in jail for a non violent offence so that Antigua tax payers have to foot the bill. They found bullets just bullets, no gun or other weapons. You can’t use bullets without a gun so that’s common sense. Not even going through US customs or TSA they arresting you for just bullets, they will make you pay a hefty fine , rough you up because of the inconvenience you caused and make you think twice about doing that again.

    • Convenient to get bullets in Antigua when you can buy them at Walmart in the U.S. Antigua do not have open and carry laws for regular citizens so it would less likely to be a mistake if it was a national unless you are one of the few that is allowed to carry a firearm. Also in the US if you have a license to carry you can take your firearm but it has to placed in checked baggage and you have to declare it to the airline and airport authorities…in the article they did not specify which bag they found the bullets. Lastly who say the person white? You assuming only white people are visitors to Antigua is just as ignorant as them putting that individual in jail…SMH.

  5. When you are traveling you should be aware of the laws of the country you’re going to. You are packing your luggage, and yet you are not aware of what shouldn’t be in it? I agree that there should have been a hefty fine instead. The law is what it is. Where in the the world could any one of us have traveled and expected leniency for such a “mistake”?

  6. This was an honest mistake. Women always carry large bags when traveling since the airline limit the amount of luggage, so we carry large bags. She probably forgot to check it. Honest mistake.

  7. To all who is so sorry for this woman an saying that it was a mistake I wonder if I was a Jamacian man would it be a mistake to or would he have bee lost in jail an then when h ha served his time he would be on the next flight out with no return to Antigua. The law should not be deremined by race, gender or nationality.

    • It’s not about feeling sorry it’s about common sense. What threat is this woman posing to the Antiguan Society? Clearly she was boarding a flight leaving so that’s where the difference is. If a jamaican was leaving in the same situation I would say the same thing. Not every infraction should equal jail. The country need the money and the jail overcrowded…fine them and send them back to their country. Also how race, gender or nationality play a part in this? It’s about common sense and what better for Antigua.

  8. It was clear at some time before she went back to the airport she discovered the bullets, why not declare them?
    If sometime on your vacation you discovered them, talk to the hotel manager and a lawyer and turn them over to the police, and you likely would be at home today.
    It is funny though that the much vaunted US airport security system was just as incompetent in the first place.

  9. Have you people really read this article properly. This woman had 20 rounds of 9MM bullets in her bag and yet people are saying that is a honest mistake. Furthermore I do believe that the firearms and ammunition act was amended earlier this year so the judges and magistrate can no longer impose fines but the guilty party must now serve time in prison. She may be a visitor an yes tourisum is our main revenue source but our small island has laws that must be follow.
    PS I it was the other way around and an Antigua was caught in such a position in the United States of America I would have been the same thing we would have been sent to jail then deported back to Antigua.

  10. My family is friends with Mrs. Marteniz. She truly is the sweetest and most caring person I’ve ever met. I can’t imagine this being anything other than an honest mistake.

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