Sugar glider couple escape conviction

| 08/02/2018 | 131 Comments

(CNS): Jimel McLean and Sabrina Walton walked away from court Thursday with a conditional discharge in relation to charges of importing a live animal. Even though they brought in a sugar glider, which is an alien species, without a licence, the crown opted to take a “pragmatic approach” to the case against the couple, who were described as passionate animal lovers, and pressed ahead with lesser charges, leaving the more serious allegations on file. The court heard this was down to technical issues relating to the law and questions of abuse of process following their arrest.  

The magistrate in the case noted the dangers of people bringing in animals that could threaten Cayman’s indigenous flora and fauna, but after hearing all of the facts in the case, he accepted the basis of plea and opted not to record a conviction.

The plea deal negotiated by the couple through their attorneys and the decision by the crown to accept the pleas to the lesser charge of importing a live animal, as opposed to importing an alien species, presented the court with a significant difference.

The maximum penalty for importing a live animal without a licence is $500 or six months in jail, while importing an alien species carries a top penalty of a whopping $500,000 fine or four years in jail, which the magistrate said reflected the serious regard legislators have for the threat from invasive species.

However, the court heard that in this case Walton had bought the sugar glider in a pet shop in Miami on impulse just before the couple were to fly home to Cayman. She carried the animal in a specially designed cage and did not conceal the sugar glider because, her attorney argued, at that point they were unaware that they needed a licence. The animal was also shown to security before McLean and Walton boarded the flight.

However, just before the Cayman Airways flight touched down, the sugar glider managed to escape from its carry-cage and was said to have cause havoc and panic on the plane. Realising what had happened, Walton immediately recovered the animal and this time placed it in her pocket. Customs and agriculture officers were alerted by the CAL crew and the couple were arrested at the airport as a result of the missing licence.

Lawyers representing the couple both argued that this was a regulatory, not a criminal, offence and they had accepted responsibility for their mistake in not checking the need to have a licence for the sugar glider’s importation.

On arriving home, they had been arrested and detained at the Fairbanks Detention Centre for 24 hours but had cooperated with the authorities. When they were released, they were given the impression by the animal officer from the Department of Agriculture that there would be no prosecution as they were given a warning.

When they were charged and learned they were still going to be prosecuted, they were willing to accept the lesser offence but were concerned about the full day of detention and that they had already been warned, leading them to believe that they would not be prosecuted.

Their lawyers advised the crown that the couple would plead guilty to the importation of a live animal if the crown was willing to drop the more serious offence, thereby avoiding trial and a potential abuse of process application.

Taking what was said to be a pragmatic approach, the crown accepted the deal in the public interest to save money while also avoiding questions over the legal definition of what an alien species is.

The couple’s lawyers said they were both devastated over what had happened, especially as the animal had to be euthanized because they had failed to research the local law. The court heard that neither McLean nor Walton have any previous convictions and they are both law-abiding citizens who are also huge animal lovers. They were described as being very upset by the entire episode, which had been compounded by the attacks they have sustained on social media as the case had attracted a great deal of attention.

“The public had taken a peculiar interest in the case,” said Richard Barton, who was representing McLean. He and Nick Dixie, who was representing Walton, argued that they were two people who had made a mistake and accepted the responsibility for that mistake.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats, who ultimately decide not to record a conviction against the couple, ordered them to pay $200 each in court costs. He said it was not surprising that there had been public interest since initially they faced much more serious charges. The sugar glider was an alien species and there had been very concerning reports in the local press about the eco-damage this particular animal could do to parrots.

It was important, he said, that the issues were aired and discussed so the public was aware of the dangers posed by importing animals. Nevertheless, he accepted that the offense before him was not that of an alien species.

Foldats said the defendants were two individuals who clearly loved animals but they had made a mistake with the pet, which they had legally purchased.

Handing down the order, he said he did not think he would ever see them in court again.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (131)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Absurdistan Penal Code has a secret section for defences for relatives of politicians.

    • Trick or treat. Treat. says:

      She is trained as a vet. He is a MLA son and UK college student. They really tricked the judge.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It comes down to who your daddy is. Simple as that. The rest of the story has no relevance.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    So easy a caveman can do it, and get away with it. Sounds quite like that old Geico commercial?

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  4. West bay Premier says:

    Why don’t someone find the pet shop that they purchased the sugar glider from in Miami, and write a letter to informing them that buyers by names has been convicted and fined for illegally importing the sugar glider and caused the death of it . And that it’s illegal to import them into the Cayman Islands, until the Government Amend the Animal Importation Law to include sugar glider and other alien animals .

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    • Cheese Face says:

      Why didn’t they fly it back up and give it back to the pet store? Why did the animal have to die because of human stupidity? That to me is the real crime here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you cheese face. I completely agree!

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you checked what the process is to import a live alien animal, aka sugar glider, into Florida? That’s why they killed the animal. No country wants these kinds of animals without original paperwork. Which was what these ‘animal lovers’ were trying to avoid. So stop trying to shift the blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly would this achieve?

      It is not illegal to bring these animals in it is illegal to smuggle them in without a permit or bringing it to the relevant authorities attention

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Yet only 6 comments on “Door wide open for white collar crime”.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    It seems everyone is afraid of Arden!!!! Dwl

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Young caymanian animal lovers in their 30’s must know that for a dog alone import papers are needed. Now they want to import a rahtid sugar glider and think it’s equivalent of walking into Target and buying a “cute” stuffed animal and bring in without a permit in your little pocket. I thought ignorance was no excuse for breaking the Law?

    Sickening, biased, selective judicial system

    I get it – law abiding citizens with no prior convictions but the message being sent here is one of disregard for the agricultural and environmental laws of the country.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow … so much passion in this comment thread.

    Interesting to see how, on this forum, a marsupial garners far more concern and outrage than an innocent eight month old fetus (RCIPS arrest video), but I digress.

    As for claims regarding special privilege resulting from parents in government; I don’t know if that played a role but maybe that is just the way things are done in the British empire?

    For example, may I remind the room of a certain Sir Mark Thatcher (son of legendary British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher) who was directly involved in the militarised attempt of a coup d’etat of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea?

    Mommy dearest pulled a host of strings and helicopter-mommed her precious little grown-ass man-child out of that international criminal mess.

    Possum v Coup d’etat …hmmm?!

    Therefore, kindly spare us the melodramatics, and Caymanians – be careful before you sign-on to reckless generalisations and accusations against your own country and people.

    Granted, the situation was an unfortunate one, but I for one will be losing ZERO winks over the matter.

    Happy Friday to each and every one.

    – Who

    *Btw, we have far more dangerous invasive / alien species parading around wishing to inflict harm on our societal ecosystem.
    I am far more concerned about that threat than that of a euthanised animal.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must be a pleasure with your fellows in England. Hating where you live and the people must be tiresome.
      The point is the rule of law applied even evenhandedly throughout the country. There have been a number of cases of late where the rule of law was not followed by government.
      For the respect of the people confidence that justice is not only being done but seen to be done is important.
      You can go back to your English rants and more important thoughts.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Re: “Hating where you live and the people must be tiresome.”

        Lol, someone ought to make that the theme song for the CNS regulars.

        Oh the irony. You are awesome!

        – Who

        * Why don’t you just say why you’ really mad doh?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Who

          Your theme of blaming England for everything is intellectually dishonest. Pretending to posture yourself as an intellectual with such great wisdom and insight is arrogance.
          Taking pleasure in inflaming the ire of Cayman residents is hostile.
          Cayman must learn to follow the rule of law throughout society and the concern when seen not to do so is valid.
          You must be lonely and unhappy in England to enjoy negative attention..

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          • Anonymous says:

            Re: “Your theme of blaming England for everything is intellectually dishonest.”
            Please learn the difference between “blame” and a simple comparison.

            Re: “Pretending to posture yourself as an intellectual with such great wisdom and insight is arrogance.”
            I am simply forwarding my say on the matter – as are you and everyone else on here.
            However, I guess I should be flattered that you have framed my contribution in such complimentary terms.

            Re: “Taking pleasure in inflaming the ire of Cayman residents is hostile.”
            Can’t say that I understand this comment but I will admit – CNS is an inherently hostile forum … but I guess you missed that eh?

            Re: “Cayman must learn to follow the rule of law throughout society and the concern when seen not to do so is valid.”
            Agreed. However, I also believe in a reasonable appropriation of focus across the spectrum.
            E.g. Why are we not seeing similar outrage regarding breaches of our immigration laws and policies?
            It will be a cold day in HELL before I lose sleep over a damn possum while my 19 year old niece cant even find a summer job due to Cayman’s self-destructive policies. (Watch this space for “lack of work experience” reason for not securing a full-time job post university.)

            Re: “You must be lonely and unhappy in England to enjoy negative attention..”
            You ought to get a refund on your espionage services tab – because you have been very misinformed, my clearly obsessed friend.

            I am much closer than you think. But don’t worry – I’ll send her back home after I’m done.

            – Who

            *Dont know if it is substances or paranoia that leads people to these suspicions and conclusions – but it is a bit creepy.

            ** All jokes aside, I trust no one gets hurt by unstable people like yourself. I’ve already met / known of 2 other guys who have been aggressively accused of being Whodatis.

            I say that because it is clear the TRUE intention of your post was to take a VERY personal jab at who you believe the recipient to be.

            Seek help, Stalker Dude.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah yes, the never ending let’s blame England for all our ills games. Has it occurred to you that Caymanians vote for their own government and therefore have the means to rise above the standards you claim in your hideous and factually incorrect account, if they so chose. No no no, let’s just take “the moral high ground”, but never do anything about it….the amount of corruption and nepotism here is far in excess of what it should be…as demonstrated herein this case. But you go get your 40 winks Who, that doesn’t bother you. It should. You are the problem, not the solution.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Kindly explain what in my previous post amounted to “blaming England”?

          I know the highlight of basic hypocricies drive you crazy, but it is what it is – and adds a bit of much needed context to quell the melodramatics of this forum.

          Feel free to continue with the ad hominem attacks though.

          – Who

          *I may lose sleep over the ever-growing corruption and illegality that serves to discriminate against and disenfranchise my fellow Caymanians – but no, not this case.
          Sorry, not sorry.

          Interestingly, the aforementioned corruption is barely touched, and if so, is quickly dismissed and ridiculed on this forum.

          I encourage you to get your priorities straight son.

          Foh

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tedious

    • Anonymous says:

      May you remind the room? Lol. What a pompous old fool.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As usual our holier than thou resident Brillo-pad trying to scour the scum off of the world with his words
      Might I suggest scouring your own scum, in the privacy of your home without coming on the CNS comments or the internet for that matter
      Go indoctrinate your kids or something
      Slow day teaching anti-imperialism at the George town Library or did no one show up again, likely because no one cares

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      • Anonymous says:

        Dude, do you realize your entire post was a personal attack against an anonymous online poster?

        That is quite sad.

        Do you have any thoughts re the actual news story?

        – Who

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        • Anonymous says:

          So its OK for you to attack whoever you feel like, but your moral compass does not allow others to attack you (especially when they make sense but you don’t).

          • Anonymous says:

            Eh?!

            Who has Who attacked?
            Please enlighten us…

            I speak to the issues and news reports just like everyone else.

            – Who

      • Anonymous says:

        *Btw, haven’t been back to GT library since I was removed and banned at age 14 so … sorry, wasn’t me.

        (Interested to know who you’re thinking of though. There appears to be quite a bit of speculation in the water these days.)

        – Who

        🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Banana Republic – one Law for people with connections – another law for the peasants.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    And that just demonstrates the total disregard the judiciary and politicians have for the environment of the Cayman Islands.
    Low sentences, crooked deals, ignorance of the subject and the privilege of being a daddies boy all come into play here. If only this daddies boys daddie actually did something for the environment other than watch his constituents steal turtle, conch and lobster from future generations and refuse to back the laws that will safeguard this wonderful place.
    Being Caymanian gives you rights, but it also gives you responsibilities.

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    • lol says:

      I wish you finger warriors would post your names to back your chat cause you right here have to be the dumbest person parading around here hahahahahahahha

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  11. Diogenes says:

    Remember when I said “slap on the wrist incoming”?
    The fact that people are surprised with this outcome shows how little people know about our laws and legal system
    That is all without mentioning this is an MLAs son
    Not surprised whatsoever

    Diogenes

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    • Anonymous says:

      You were absolutely right. What a huge surprise the search was illegal making evidence inadmissible. The contempt these people have for the rest of us breathtaking.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    So as the law does not define what is an alien animal and what isn’t , effectively it allows alien animals to be imported. Who in the hell created / wrote this law? An alien?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Good! This clears the way for my monkey project!

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  14. Mokes-for-all says:

    I’m thinking of bringing in a lion. I’m sure I’ll get away with it if I just list it as a cat. Might help with my iguana problem.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The results you expect when you believe that you are more privileged than others.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    This is Cayman fi yah. If you have the right connections you can pretty much do anything and get away with it. The Lord help you if you don’t as they will throw the book at you regardless how frivolous the charge is. This Island is really making us, indigenous Caymanians, sick!!!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    They are high maintenance pets that require a special diet and need a large living space(cage).
    http://www.sugar-gliders.com/sugar-glider.htmhttp://www.sugar-gliders.com/sugar-glider.htm

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  18. Anonymous says:

    “Smugglers let off” would be an appropriate headline.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    We can just look out our windows at the green iguanas to understand how dangerous non native species can be. This case sends an awful message of disregard of the local environment both by the persons involved in importation and the courts.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Let’s be honest, after hearing it was a politicians son, did you really expect any different outcome?
    It must be nice to still rely on daddy to solve your problems at 30+ years old. Sad.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Curious… if this animal was brought through the airport in a cage, how did Cayman Airways staff allow it on the plane in an obvious cage unless it was consealed – hence the acknowledgement that what they were doing was wrong. Was this cage ever discovered on the plane or was it dumped in an airport departure lounge trash can? WHAT A JOKE!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I had the same thoughts, and also wondered that they passed security checks in Miami without having any paperwork for the animal.

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      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Security care if you are carrying something dangerous – customs violations not their issue. Think about it – how would Miami TSA know what the importation rules for animals were in every country there are flights to from Miami? Now the airline would be a different matter – which is why despite their claims of ignorance of the rules there is no suggestion that they actually declared the animal to the airline. The following is from Cayman Airways web page. You can see that they don’t take anything other than cats and dogs, they require full vet paperwork, AND you have to pay $100. How their attorney could tell the judge with a straight face that they didn’t realise and that they didn’t conceal the animal is beyond me.

        Pets Travelling on Cayman Airways
        Cayman Airways will accept domestic dogs, cats and household birds for carriage subject to the conditions below. On the jet service a maximum of four pets are allowed in the cargo compartment per flight and a maximum of two pets are allowed in the passenger compartment per flight (one in business class and one in economy class).

        Charges
        Pets travelling in the cabin to and from international destinations are charged US$100.00 per pet each way. Pets travelling on jet services in the cabin on domestic flights are charged at US$50 per pet each way. Pets as check in baggage to and from international destinations are charged US$125.00, domestic is US$50.00. Payment will be taken at check-in, cash and credit cards are both accepted.

        Travel Container
        The pet must be confined in a suitable leak proof container provided by the passenger. When the pet is in the cabin compartment the container must not exceed the following dimensions: maximum length of 23 inches and maximum width of 13 inches. The pet must be accompanied by a valid health and rabies vaccination certificate, entry permits and other documents required by the country of entry. The maximum weight for a pet allowed to travel is 99lbs, this is the added weight of the pet plus the kennel

    • lol says:

      were you told verbatim that they didn’t know?

  22. Anonymous says:

    $200! Are you f-ing serious… if I go 5mph over the speed limit my ticket is more than that. Since it’s such a low risk I just need to figure out which species I will try to smuggle in next. With the exotic animal markup in Cayman, oh what a profit I’ll make!!! Reward definitely outweighs risk from the looks of it.

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  23. Nikko says:

    There was a sugar glider living here peacefully for years, the people were given it by agriculture dept to care for. Not to be cryptic but if you’ve ever bought furniture on island you may have seen it.

    Interesting how they kill this one the day after an illegal search.

    You all didn’t care about the illegal importation of caviar without a license (same offense) because that person had no ties to anyone in politics. That person was not a Caymanian and did not have his rights trampled on. THAT should upset you more but nah…we need to be keyboard warriors fam and drag our own people through the marl road mud

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    • Anonymous says:

      No thanks for your your biased opinion, friend of the guilty couple. What was discovered at their home from the so-called illegal search would’ve sent them straight to jail- no fine. You mention caviar when our own Caymanian ppl are smuggling animals that would endanger our ecosystem and future generations.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are a nut!

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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Explain how Mr McLeans rights were trampled on? By being arrested for breaking the law? Or do you think the law should only apply to non Caymanians like the caviar importer?

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      • Death Roe says:

        Caymans new criminal categories:
        Gang Leader. Murderer. Drug Dealer. Rapist. Paedophile. Illegal Gun Holder. Caviar Importer.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “Alien Species”
    this is such a joke.

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  25. West bay Premier says:

    I wonder if this was the ordinary person who had committed this crime and the Judge recommended / ordered deportation, if the Cabinet and the Premier would have been needed ?

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  26. Anonymous says:

    So you’re tryna say and expect me to believe that a born and bred Caymanian did not know that you needed a license and other health certificates to bring in ANY animal?????
    Hahahahahhaha!!!!!
    LIARS!!
    Good story though… Shame they caused the death of the animal.

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    • anonymous says:

      It’s nothing to do with nationality, it is age and lack of experience. Your belief expressed that because they are Caymanian so they must know they were breaking the law, that is like saying all young persons from other countries must know know their home countries laws regarding this sort of thing just because they are from there. Think about it .

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      • Anonymous says:

        Young? These ‘pet lovers’ are in their what, 30s? If not yet when will they be old enough to know better? – What ‘exotic pet lover’ doesn’t know you need permits to move animals around? – Please, your ‘excuses’ ring hollow.

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      • Tut alors!. says:

        12.46pm I entirely agree – stupidity has no national boundaries.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Please Mr. Chief Justice review this case. It makes us loose all respect for the Cayman legal system.

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  28. Mark says:

    What about the original story back in June 2017 where “related searches may have also been conducted and further illegally imported species may have been found”.

    Let me guess the police/customs never had a proper search warrant.

    What a load of BS.
    Really makes you wonder.

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  29. West bay Premier says:

    What I don’t understand why there’s such a big difference in the Importation Law , as to illegally importing a animal and a alien animal , and the difference in fines .
    Mr McLean should take this opportunity in his appreciation for his son getting off so easy, and make a motion to amend the Animal Importation Law now that he should know that there’s a difference of animals in Law.

    But to really think about this case , where did the Judge get the two different fines and prison times from ? But the charge of importing a illegal alien animal couldn’t be enforced by the Judge .

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    • anonymous says:

      If you want to learn how to find answers to those types of questions you ask go to law school for 3 plus yrs, do pupillage/ articles, be called to the Bar, obtain several yrs experience practising, maybe even obtain a Masters along the way, and if found qualified and sufficiently experienced enough obtain a job as a magistrate and by then you might begin to comprehend and interpret the law in such manner to be able to know the answers to these sorts of questions. I am sure you and many others will say that is garbage but that is what it takes unless of course you have someone who knows/ understands the law to this level who can explain it to you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not being lawyer, or involved in the case, the following is a guess:

      Animals Law = unpermitted importation = $500 fine = the Law they used
      National Conservation Law = alien animal importation = $5000 fine = the Law they didn’t use
      ‘they’ being DoA & DPP, not Court/Judge who only adjudicates the cases as presented by the lawyers (DPP). (And I am NOT suggesting that DoA/DPP could have applied the Conservation Law in this case; the Animals Law was the correct one.)

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Yes Jimel your my idol

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Well done Cayman Judicial system for underlining the worthwhile lean in the risk to reward quandary. Most recently we can assault police officers and pretty much get away with it and now with ‘no definition of alien animals’ maybe now bring in more exotic pets to fend them off with. What did Marthin Luther king say, ‘the moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice’ ? – it’s alright world, we gonna be just fine…

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  32. Anonymous says:

    $200 each on court cost? Is this a joke? I am sure the time spent by customs, agriculture and legal dept way exceeded $400.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    what a joke. I guess this means EVERYONE can bring in an animal illegally and face no criminal conviction… oh wait, only if you are a politicians son. The judicial system here is comical.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Only well connected people get away with it. The US citizen accidentally bringing in a gun got a $13,000 fine.

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    • Anonymous says:

      First time offence, full cooperation, breach of legal process by law enforcement and a guilty plea that saved the public purse, court time and a potential lawsuit against CIG for said breaches…i’d say they got what they deserved and the government were the ones that got off easy

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      • Anonymous says:

        you are joking right?

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      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        First time offence eh – Compass June 12th – “the discovery of other nonindigenous animals, including snakes and a lizard, in a follow-up search has caused concern among environmental watchdogs.”

        Breach of legal process by law enforcement – what, you mean arresting them for committing an offence, or God forbid a son of an MLA had to wait for 24 hrs before being bailed, or that the DPP – who decides whether to prosecute criminal offences – decided to prosecute them for the offence even though some staff person at the DOA had told them with no authority whatsoever to do so that they wouldn’t be charged? What would the damages the law suit they have graciously decided not to proceed be for – hurt feelings? Letting the public know they had committed an offence?

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        • Anonymous says:

          first time offence based on their previous (non) criminal record, not that they may or may not have done it before and gotten away with it. Legal definitions matter in court in case you didn’t know…but now Arden has $400 more in his budget to boops with, it’s a win-win for him.

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          • Anonymous says:

            It seems in Cayman that if you are closely related to a politician, you will never get a criminal record…

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      • Anonymous says:

        what you must have meant to say was that “they got off easy so that the government could get off easier.”

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      • Anonymous says:

        Break the law and you get a slap on the wrist. Yet if you work in the private sector and break your employers rules you get immediately terminated. So very confusing

  34. Anonymous says:

    cayman justice = no justice

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank you lawyers and judge for this outcome. Now you two animals lovers please go on your way and never do something like this again. Surely you understand that what you did was wrong. You cannot allow your love for animals to cloud your thinking and actions. You will be rediculed and horrible things will be said about you but do not take it to heart. This too shall pass.

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    • Anonymous says:

      One has got to wonder if they really love animals. They seem to know nothing about sugar gliders. For starters, why bring in such animals when there are no veterinarians qualified in this species?
      In their natural habitat, sugar gliders live in trees in large family groups. The membrane spanning from wrist to ankle allows them to glide from tree to tree.
      As nocturnal animals, they can’t sleep in a human household due to exposure to bright lights and loud noises. Human interaction is not the social comfort and grooming they receive from their family group. Why deny everything that’s natural and meaningful to the animal? Shouldn’t they enjoy the companionship of their own species, and the opportunity to climb and fly between trees rather than pacing, or sitting and peering out of a tiny cage?
      Sugar gliders are are bred in facilities similar to puppy mills. They are then stuffed into small plastic containers and shipped all over the world. The mortality rate is appalling.
      How could these “animal lovers” be so profoundly uninformed?

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  36. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it.
    Why is there a law prohibiting the import of such animals, if you don’t enforce it ?

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Bull shit decision! I guarantee this wasn’t the first time they imported an animal illegally!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The worrisome fact that Jimel McLean had earlier pleaded guilty to an additional charge of “importing a biological product without a license”. That charge referred to what he claimed were vaccines for his dogs. Were these products certified vaccines? And why is he not getting his animals vaccinated by a proper veterinarian with DoA approved vaccine?

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      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Good question. Maybe he is just trying to save money on vet fees. Of course other animals suffer from distemper if not vaccinated, including a whole range of animals which would be illegal ( including sugar gliders!) and which you couldn’t take to the vet for vaccinations. Of course in that case buying and smuggling the vaccine might imply you knew the animal was illegal but I see that wasn’t the case here, oh no.

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  38. Whoyouknow says:

    Hands up if you really ever expected anything different than this travesty of justice. The more things change the more they stay the same

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Well, well, well. This really sends a strong message out to all the other brainless simpletons who think it’s no big deal to endanger the fragile ecosystem of Cayman.

    Good job the green iguanas aren’t much of an issue here. SMH.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    But yet, people can abuse animals horribly and just a slap on the wrist These two people didn’t abuse the animal the were just ignorant of the law. The laws in Cayman are just plan ass backwards

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  41. Anonymous says:

    After all that they get a 200$ fine. As usual this country and it’s laws are a joke and look only to benefit who ya are. Most anyone else would have been thrown to the wolves. Wait till we see what comes in my suitcase next time I travel. It’s only a 200$ fine, worth a shot.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    The judge has failed the people of the Cayman Islands. With the problem we are having with invasive iguanas and lionfish this was the perfect opportunity for the judge to make an example out of invasive pest smugglers! Must be nice to have a powerful daddy eh Jimel!?

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    • Anon says:

      What’s strange is all the people who openly showcase illegal drugs, guns and animals on FB or IG and nothing is done about it.

      They literally put it out there to “show-off” and the powers that be do nothing. People talk about this all the time….why are these individuals being ignored by Authorities?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why are you not reporting them? (Sorry, ‘gangsta bwoy’ not my friend on FB or whatever IG is.)

  43. Anonymous says:

    Surprise surprise! Nothing changes in cayman!

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  44. Anonymous says:

    “It was important, he said, that the issues were aired and discussed so the public was aware of the dangers posed by importing animals. Nevertheless, he accepted that the offense before him was not that of an alien species.”

    Perhaps next time animal lovers Jimel and Sabrina can legally buy a couple of Burmese pythons in Florida and bring them to Cayman. Burmese pythons are no more alien than sugar gliders.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    …and that’s that.
    Much ado about nada.

    Would have been useful to include the fact the animal was not concealed from the authorities and smuggled onto the plane in the earliest reports.

    Nevertheless, certain folks will take this as an opportunity to slam an entire group of people as a result of this case.

    Let us turn the page. Lessons learned all around. Sleep well little glider.

    We have far more important business to tend to.

    – Who

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    • Anonymous says:

      You really are an idiot.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, the kind of idiot that remains in the minority on our SHARED forum as he defends the welfare of a fetus.

        You may want to reassess the crowd you run with.

        – Who

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think that’s because it’s not illegal to export a sugar glider so no point in concealing it, however it is illegal to import it without the needed paperwork. As the thing escaped, there’s no knowing if they intended to deceive ‘authorities’ in Cayman, if they did declare it they wouldn’t have got it through customs, so chances are they were planning on concealing it from authorities here.

      Lets face it they got off because they’ve sold a bunch of smuggled animals to some connected people, allegedly and if convicted would have dished the dirt., allegedly,

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Sleep well little glider.” – You idiot, it was put down because of these two imbeciles – animal lovers my foot.

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      • Anon says:

        You know what, I love animals. But I love people first, then animals.

        Try it some time.

        If I had to choose between a human and an animal to save, it would be the human. Not many people think like that today.

        That being said. NO, people importing illegal animals is wrong and no they don’t care about the animals, they only care about fattening their pockets $$$.

        How come no-one questions the people who buy these illegal critters? If there was no demand for it they would have no reason to import.

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    • Anonymous says:

      4:58 am Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak(or type) and remove all doubt!

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Surprise surprise. No one who loves animals keeps them in a tupperware or stuffed into their pockets. They knew what thye were doing and I don’t buy their story one bit.

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  47. Anonymous says:

    Finally, now we can move on! But I’d like to hear more about the abuse of process ???

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