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Jamaican resident sentenced to Prison in the US for Making Ghost Guns

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, November 22, 2022 – A thirty-year-old Jamaican, Audley Reeves, was sentenced on November 17 in the United States to 18 months of imprisonment for making ghost guns, according to reports by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

These weapons are said to be homemade firearms that do not contain serial numbers or other identifying markings that prevent them from being traced to the owner, seller or manufacturer. 

The US Attorney’s Office said court documents and statements revealed that the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force learned that John Lee Ortiz (Reeves co-accused) and others were selling “ghost guns,” in late 2021.

Reports are that in December 2021, investigators made controlled purchases of seven handguns, a Bushmaster .223 calibre rifle, and numerous rounds of ammunition from Ortiz.  Most of the handguns were said to be without serial numbers and had plastic lower receivers that appeared to be made with a 3D printer.

The US Attorney’s Office said Reeves was identified during the investigation as the fabricator of the ghost guns.  Reeves and Ortiz were both arrested earlier this year on January 5.

“It was also revealed that Reeves was present in the apartment at the time of the search, and a 3D printer in the apartment was in the process of printing stock of an AR-15 style rifle,” the US Attorney’s Office stated.

Reeves pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of manufacturing firearms without a license on August 24.  He is required to report to prison on January 6 of next year.

On the other hand, Ortiz is set to be sentenced on February 3.

Caribbean News

CHTA Praises Grenada’s Hospitality Industry for Record Growth and Sector-Wide Collaboration

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GEORGE’S, Grenada (April 9, 2024) – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) praised tourism stakeholders in Grenada for their dedication to fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, a partnership that has resulted in sustainable growth within the destination’s tourism industry.

During her inaugural visit to The Spice Island last month, Vanessa Ledesma, Acting CEO of CHTA, spoke at a Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) Members Meeting. The event was attended by government officials and members of the business community, highlighting the strong collaborative efforts that have been instrumental in driving the sector’s progress.

“Grenada is an outstanding Caribbean tourism destination, and I am inspired by the passion and dedication of its hospitality industry stakeholders. Through collaboration and a strong public-private partnership, I am confident that the GHTA and its members will continue to thrive,” said Ledesma. 

Sharing insights from CHTA’s data partner ForwardKeys, Ledesma provided valuable information on Grenada’s tourism outlook. She highlighted first-quarter arrivals that are on track to surpass 2023’s figures, positioning Grenada as a leader in regional tourism growth. 

In 2023, Grenada achieved a milestone by welcoming 178,020 stayover visitors, marking a 33.7% increase from 2022. This impressive growth placed Grenada among a select group of regional destinations that surpassed their 2019 arrival figures, delivering an increase of close to 10 percent.

Data from STR and CoStar highlighted a positive trend in the hospitality sector, with hotel occupancy climbing from 61% to 65.6% year-over-year. Additionally, there was an increase in both Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR).

Ledesma also pointed to the Caribbean’s strong performance in the global travel recovery of 2023, noting a three percent increase in international arrivals compared to 2019. This contrasted with a 25% decline in total international inbound travel elsewhere in the world. “The Caribbean has truly set a benchmark in the global tourism landscape, underscoring its significant outperformance in attracting visitors last year,” Ledesma remarked, emphasizing the region’s successful rebound and resilience in the face of global challenges.

The association executive highlighted the comprehensive benefits of CHTA membership, including the critical advocacy work on travel and tourism issues to ensure that members’ voices are heard in policy-making circles. She also underscored the importance of marketing opportunities provided through access to Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the premier annual buyer-supplier event in the region, to be held in Jamaica in May.

Ledesma spoke about the value of market intelligence through access to regional performance data and resources in the CHTA Data Center, educational webinars and masterclasses; opportunities for leadership and engagement in CHTA councils and committees; sharing of best practices in various aspects of business beyond the borders of individual destinations; and the availability of timely, curated news and information.

As part of her visit, Ledesma engaged in site visits to member hotels, learning about the hospitality sector’s needs and offering practical solutions to address them. She also explored Grenada’s scenic beauty and charm to deepen her understanding of the destination.

Warm Grenadian hospitality was extended to Ledesma through a reception held in her honor at Calabash Grenada, providing an intimate setting for networking and dialogue among guests, including Senator Adrian Thomas, Minister of Tourism; Senator Salim Rahaman; Nikoyan Roberts, Head of Sales and Marketing at the Grenada Tourism Authority; and other government officials and tourism leaders.

“Vanessa’s visit symbolizes a significant step forward in strengthening the relationship and fostering growth of the Grenadian hospitality sector. The GHTA looks forward to leveraging her expertise and insights to further elevate our industry,” remarked Arlene Friday, CEO of GHTA.

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Caribbean News

Jamaica agricultural advancements despite bad weather

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Credit:JIS

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Jamaica#Agriculture, April 11, 2024 Despite the bad weather conditions in 2023, especially the drought period, Jamaica was able to achieve its second highest domestic crop production on record with over 700 thousand tonnes of local crops produced. This was announced by state minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Franklin Witter, on Sunday April 7, at the 41st annual National Farmers’ Month church service held in Trelawney.

 

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Caribbean News

Guyana Wildfires

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Wildfires#Guyana, April 11, 2024 – Wildfires have been affecting Guyana, the most recent in the Timehri Community on the north-eastern side since April 4, according to a release from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO).

The report says according to PAHO, as of April 5, 28 people have been displaced in a shelter in the Santa Aratack Village. Additionally, the JRC Global Wildfire Information System, also featured in the release, says the total burnt area is more than 16,500 ha.

This comes nearly a month after a 93 year old man was killed by a wildfire in north West Guyana.

Reports say the entire region is dealing with wildfires including Venezuela, Central America and Mexico with a record number of fires, and a major increase compared to the same period in 2023.

 

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