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Man found guilty on gun parts smuggling charges

James Rumley exits Supreme Court in handcuffs after being found guilty of the importation of firearm componants. (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

A Sandys man left Supreme Court in handcuffs yesterday after he was found guilty of smuggling gun parts into the island.

James Rumley, 39, was found guilty by a unanimous verdict of three charges that he imported firearm components in June and October last year.

The decision came after three hours of deliberation, during which the jurors asked to review video footage of him bringing one of the intercepted packages into a US FedEx office.

Rumley is expected to return to the court next month to be sentenced.

The Supreme Court heard over the course of his trial that the contraband was discovered hidden in three separate packages, all of which were mailed to Bermuda from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Officers discovered a gun handgrip and trigger mechanisms concealed in a shower head, two gun barrels hidden inside a hard plastic tool box and gun triggers hidden among auto parts.

Rumley – who was seen on CCTV posting all three packages – accepted he was involved in the mailing of all three packages but he denied that he had any knowledge about the gun parts.

He told the court he had been hired through US courier app Postmates to bring a customer and the first package to FedEx on May 31.

Rumley said he filled out the shipping forms himself in the customer’s name and paid for the transaction in cash because he had left his Postmates prepaid card at home.

He said it was a coincidence that the package was addressed to someone he went to school with in Bermuda, and he did not know anything about the contents of the package.

Rumley said on October 10 he sent a second package to Bermuda containing a spring compressor kit that he had purchased minutes earlier for a friend.

He said he sent the package to the mother of his child because he did not know his friend’s last name or address, and that it was sent under the name of a “friend of a friend“ because he had forgotten his identification.

Rumley said he sent the third package to his own Bermuda address a day later because he did not have enough room for it in his luggage.

He claimed he showed the clerk his identification, but they put the sender’s name as “Robert James” instead of “James Robert Rumley” as shown on his ID.

Victoria Greening, counsel for Rumley, argued that the Crown had failed to prove her client knew anything about the gun parts.

She warned the jury not to form a decision based on “speculation or suspicion”.

Prosecutors however argued Rumley’s version of events made no sense.

Cindy Clarke, deputy director of public prosecutions, said he would have to be extremely unlucky to have three packages – sent to different addresses under different names – all contain gun parts without his knowledge.

She added that Rumley had lied to police about his communications with the mother of his child and accused him of misleading the jury about the services offered by Postmates.

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