Caymanian escapes Jamaican jail in ganja export

| 18/12/2011

(CNS): A local man has narrowly escaped a year’s imprisonment in Jamaica after a magistrate suspended the prison time imposed for the man’s part in efforts to export more than 109 pounds of ganja and a quantity of hash oil from Jamaica to the Cayman Islands. The Jamaican Gleaner reported that 29-year-old Matthew Brown, who works as a plumber in the Cayman Islands, and Arthur Garvey, a wholesale jeweller in Westmoreland, were found at Brown's home with 109 pounds of ganja, five pounds of hash oil, a compressor, jack, transparent plastic wrap and a scale. Garvey, under caution, said the contraband was destined for the Cayman Islands, while Brown said he was at the location to smoke ganja.

The men pleaded guilty and were fined a total of J$363,000 and given a year in jail but Brown was spared from the mandatory prison sentence after his lawyer, Dionne Meylor-Reid, made an impassioned plea for leniency. Resident Magistrate Collymore Gordon set aside the jail time he had imposed on Brown and his co-accused, 52-year-old Jamaican Arthur Garvey, in the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court, Westmoreland.

The magistrate told the men that if they were convicted of any offences within the next three years, they would have to serve the prison term. No removal or deportation order was made for Brown.

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  1. Annnie Green Gables says:

    11:37  You better come with better information than that.  Because what  you dont know may give you a heart attack.  Brown which Caymanian? are you nuts.

  2. Profound Reality! says:

    He is a Caymanian, he is Jamaican!

    Seems irrelevant to me.

    Locking anyone up will not fix our dirty little secret! Think of  our problem like this, there exist a local and unstoppable demand for drugs of every kind,with demand comes supply. Locking away Mr Brown might satisfy our vengeful souls, but please stop imaginging the drug flow will slow down or that the Island has accomplished anything.For every Mr Brown there are 5-10 others' ready to take his place. The unstoppable demand will always provide an innovative supplier, a risk taker, a rebel (even a guy just trying to survive). Its time we reconsider this "war on drugs"(what a joke) ,and focus on educating our own on matters of drug use(growing minds are a little bit more complicated to reach than "Don't do drugs").

    Demand will forever be the real problem if we continue to fight the supplier!

    Think abou it.



  3. Anonymous says:

    I believe the essence of the story is the leniency shown in the judgment for the seriousness of the crime. Why does there have to be  Racist and hatred comments.  Why do you all dislike Jamaicans?  Your culture heritage and even quite a bit of your social, economic and political development are linked to Jamaica like it or not.  Are we your bastard cousin that no one should know of?  Some of the persons making these nasty comments have Jamaican blood running through their veins but…!!  The discussion about deportation would never have arise in the court if the man was Jamaican.  One of the commentators on the page has indicated that they know the person and the family – yet you disown him?!!  Another comment is made of being friendly and compassionate to Jamaicans and it gets majority thumbs down.  Aren’t those good qualities of Caymanians or people on a whole – or if it is shown to a Jamaican it is the worst sin?   I really wonder if the world isn’t watching and see the high level of racism (not  black vs white) but nationality vs another (which in no way inferior to the other) and despise it.  Be careful quite a large number of Caymanians have family in Jamaica and visit on a regular basis and are not met with such racist attitude – Can you imagine if that start to occur.  Remember they are more expats of all nations here than Caymanians too.  Love more people.  Everyone is playing their part to make Cayman better.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have no idea whether the man is Jamaican or Caymanian. However, just touching on one of your points: "The discussion about deportation would never have arise in the court if the man was Jamaican". The article does not state that there was any discussion in the court about deportation. Instead it appears that an editorial comment was by the newspaper that "no order was made as to deportation or removal of Brown". It is a little curious that a suspended sentence and no deportation order would be given for someone who is a foreign national convicted of a serious offence. One poster has interpreted this as a friendly gesture towards Caymanians by the Jamaican court, while others have interpreted it as a sign that Brown has Jamaican nationality or that the Jamaican court did not view conspiracy to smuggle drugs to Cayman very seriously. 

      I think your comments are little over the top.     

      • Anonymous says:

        Jamaica is not the Cayman Islands…it isn't even mentioned in the newspaper article whether the magistrate knew that he was a Caymanian or not and it would not have mattered if he did.

        Automatic deportaion from a country for commitiing a crime applies to Cayman mainly because many of Cayman's residents are foreign nationals on work permit; a criminal conviction violates the conditions of that permit, therefore a deportation order usually accompanies a conviction for that person.

        Jamaica, and most other countries, only deports people who have broken or violated their IMMIGRATION LAWS, in some respect.

        If Matthew Brown had been found to not have legal immigration status in Jamaica, whether as a visitor  or resident, he most certainly would have been charged with that offense as well, and been deported.

        • Anonymous says:

          The fact is that the headline of the article in the Gleaner states that Mr. Brown is a Caymanian. They must have got that information from the court. Whether one is a foreign national must play a part in the sentence that is handed down.

          It is not correct that only Cayman deports foreign nationals when they have been convicted of serious crimes, including drug offences. As Jamaicans will be well aware, the U.S., Canada and the UK does the same.  

          You may find this article from the University of Alaska discussing the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act on the subject enlightening. Note in particular the following quote:

          "Very few immigration remedies exist for non-citizens convicted of crimes. There are almost no legal avenues that prevent the deportation of non-citizens convicted of an aggravated felony or a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE VIOLATION.  For these crimes, length of residency in the United States or the existence of spouses, children or parents with U.S. citizenship will not prevent a non-citizen's deportation".


      • Anonymous says:

        You were very selective in the point you chose to argue.  The essence of my remarks was the racist and hatered statements being made that weren't warranted for the article.  As you chose to do lets debate the article and the facts or non facts with in it.  But you have shown your nepotism by not condeming the racist and hatered chants displayed.  Aren't those chants a little over the top? 

        • Anonymous says:

          The point I was making is that comments were a matter of interpretation of the case. You have chosen to label one interpretation as racist.

          "Nepotism"? I suggest you understand the meaning of words before you use them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to add, do we remember just a few weeks ago when the Philippines government took a stance on it's citizens coming to Cayman because of our treatment to foreigners, we all denied it? Stop the hate people.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are an idiot. The Philippines list was ridiculous as it did not include middle eastern countries where the real abuse (beatings, forced conversion to Islam, sexual abuse etc.) occurs and where many more Filipinos are employed. The local Philippines honorary consul said they didn't agree with the blacklisting.  If there was a real issue of general abuse of Filipinos a complaint should have been made to the Cayman govt. Finally, why are you assuming that individual cases of abuse were perpetrated by Caymanians?  

    • Anonymous says:

      Good post…some of these comments really just show the ignorance that many Caymanians have about Jamaica, as a country, in spite of the many, many years of history that binds the two countries together.

      The relationships that Caymanians have formed with Jamaicans in Cayman does very little to dispel this ignorance…unless individuals make an effort to learn about  Jamaica, or any other country for that matter….for themselves.

      Some Jamaicans living in Cayman are not very good ambassadors or representatives for their country either….and these are not always from the criminal element of  Jamaica either.

      Jamaica's attitude to towards ganja (marijuana) as a trade mirrors most other countries…it is illegal and you will be punished when caught…but being caught with 100 lbs of ganja in Jamaica is not going to have a magistrate sentencing someone to a life sentence or…ordering deportation…for Jamaica, there are very more serious crimes for the society to consider than that.


      Caymanians need to accept that the world is an imperfect place, which very mich includes the Cayman Islands and not get so worked up about things that happen….the men were caught and the court imposed what it thought to be an appropriate sentence….end of the matter.

  4. tweety bird says:

    FYI, Matthew Brown is a born and raised Caymanian. He has no other passport but Caymanian. Matthew isnot a Jamaican and does not have dual citizenship. Now swallow your pride and let's move on, on how we can fix our young people addicted to drugs. Because the cancer is growing in the Cayman Islands and deny the problem, saying, "not my child" will not help the situation at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      …just so y’all is clear – it is a fact that being born here and having a BOTC passport does not mean someone is Caymanian. There are thousands of persons in that position who are not Caymanian.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Matthew Brown is a Born Caymanian, with both Caymanian Parents.

    • Anonymus says:

      And a drug dealer.

      • Pit Bull says:

        But surely there must be a way we can blame the Jamaicans for corrupting this poor Caymanian isn't there?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't understand why he isn't being deported if he is a Caymanian.  He must have some Jamaican ties.  Please note that I could care less what nationality he really is and I don't think that Caymanians can do no wrong.  I just think the article doesn't make sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just make sure you know exactly which "Matthew Brown" that this aticle is referring to…..there is more than one!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What is clear is that the Jamaican courts do not think that sending large quantities of drugs to Cayman warrants a custodial sentence. Frankly, the Governor should file a diplomatic protest. The result is outrageous.

    • Anonymous1 says:

      Yes, the Governor should file a diplomatic protest, the result is outrageous. Take care of your own wound before it becomes an untreatable gangrene sore.


  7. Anonymous says:

    The article does not make it clear – are both Jamaican nationals but 1 one working here in Cayman on a work permit?

    • Anonymous says:

      The article in the Jamaican newspaper says that Brown is a Caymanian. I hope we were not being misled. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Dual Jamaican/Caymanian nationality is possible. Just use the one that suits you best for the occasion.

        I believe the newspapers in Canada gave us a fine example on how to to just that some years ago. The headlines read "Canada wins Olympic Gold" followed the next day by "Jamaican born Ben Johnson tests positive for drugs".

  8. Anonymous says:

    That’s too bad….

  9. Anonymous says:

    He should have been sent to jail! Thats a lot of ILLEGAL drugs they were attempting to move.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why is he described as Caymanian? He has a house in Jamaica and obviously welcomed to remain in Jamica even with conviction. Is CNS sure he is not Jamaican?

    • Anonymous says:

      Brown is a born and bred Caymanian who was visiting Jamaica so stop hammering Jamaicans. Goes to show you  can't believe everything you read

      • Anonymous says:

        Nonsense. The drugs were found IN HIS HOME in Jamaica. Hardly sounds he was there to climb the falls.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dont claim to know it all by reading a story and then regarding peoples' comments as nonsense.  He was staying there while visiting Jamaica, it's not a house he owns.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is a CAYMANIAN and you know it. What!!! Caymanians cant do wrong. I tell you many caymainas are in for a rude awaken if you dont control the youths from an early age.


      Unlike the Cayman system, if it were a Jamaican here they would have given the maximum sentance. I dont know why the judge suspend the penalty. He should be punished for it.

      But the Jamaicans are always smart, send him back here to create more mayhem. Let the country deal with their own problem. (could that be what the judge was thinking?)


      • Anonymous says:

        "Maximum sentence" my backfoot.One of the guys charged the other day for smuggling cocaine/ganga in the canoe was convicted here in 2008 of the same offence. Not only don't they get the max they are released earlier than their Caymanian counterparts.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    Get him out of Jamaica so he can leave their ganja alone.

  12. Anonymous1 says:

    And here we are saying how much Jamaicans are against us and hate us. Oh dear,only if we could start to show them how much we are a friendly and compassionate people as we  use to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      After that you could show the Phillipinos, Cubans, Canadians, Americans, Italians,…Well everyone but the Chinese (who already know how friendly you are) just how you all USED to be friendly and compassionate.  After all you will all be working for at least one of them in your future.

    • Anonymous says:

      What does this have to do with the news story?  A person, whether Jamaican or Caymanian, has received a non-custodial sentence where they were conspiring to smuggle drugs into Cayman. How does this show warm and fuzzy feelings for Cayman?  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Confused.  Who is Matthew Brown? Where is Brown's home?  Is he Caymanian?  Or is he Caymanian because he works in the Cayman Islands?  Very interesting publicity.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why are you reporting Brown to be a Caymanian? Did everyone on a work permit (regardless of character) just get granted status? Is he not a Jamaican in any event?

    • Anonymous says:

      Go back to bed. It appears as if you are sleep walking or sleep reading. Its the worst I have heard from since gods no when. Its better to keep your mouth close that to open it and remove the doubt that some people already have of some Caymanians.

  15. Anonymous says:

    No removal or deportation order was made with respect to Brown BECAUSE HE IS A JAMAICAN! Note where the ganja was found! The only story here is why is immigration here not considering revoking his permission to be in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another horse. Some caymanians only accept their own when they do good. Now they are in the bad light, some of you caymanians calling him Jamaican. You know he is a caymanian. He doesnt even have a touch of Jamaican heritage.


      So accept it, there are really bad caymanians out there. Work to correct it, dont disown your own. Hyprocrites!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If he was a Jamaican he would be in prison. A Jamaican just a few days ago, sentenced to three months with hard labor,  yes hard labor, to prison for picking a few ackees from the GG's property in the Jamaican court. Now how is that for you haters.