Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
Gun, ammunition charges against MoBay deputy mayor dropped
Michael Troupe, the deputy mayor of Montego Bay, St James, has walked out of the Western Regional Gun Court a free man after his gun and ammunition charges were dismissed yesterday.
The deputy mayor and his 21-year-old son, Jevaughn, were previously before the court on July 25 on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and five rounds of ammunition, to which the younger Troupe pleaded guilty and was sentenced yesterday to two years' imprisonment for the firearm charge and fined $2 million for the ammunition.
The father and son had been arrested following a raid at their Granville, St James, home by a team of officers from the Lottery Scam Task Force on July 18.
Upon being informed of the court's decision, supporters of the senior Troupe, who is also the People's National Party (PNP) councillor for the Granville division in St James, cheered loudly and even hoisted him in the air in celebration.
Attorney-at-law Leonard Green, who led the legal team representing the Troupes, said the prosecution did the right thing in withdrawing the charges against the deputy mayor.
"Mr Michael Troupe is a free man today, and the prosecution, to my mind, has done the decent thing in that they have withdrawn the indictment against Mr (Michael) Troupe," declared Green. "We are not aware of any more charges against Mr (Michael) Troupe, and for that we are happy."
The lawyer continued: "Jevaughn has pleaded guilty, and the sentence is two years' imprisonment at hard labour, and he has been fined $2 million for the ammunition."
But Green added that even with the elder Troupe's exoneration, his reputation has taken a blow as a result of his arrest.
"It is a sad day in this country where a Jamaican - who has given 19 years as a public servant in the parish council, a deputy mayor, and 16 years as a justice of the peace - is carted off in handcuffs in the back of a truck; and when he is kept in those conditions, embarrassed but not disgraced, we are told that the charges against him are withdrawn" said Green.
"If a hundred counts are brought against him tomorrow morning, the wrong would still be there. His character, his career cannot be repaired."
When asked whether the legal team would pursue any further action on the senior Troupe's behalf, Green said they would be open to that possibility if it should arise.
"We have no instruction to pursue any action at this point in time, but we are open to considering the appropriate action when that time comes around," he said.
In the meantime, two other relatives of the deputy mayor, Dwight Troupe and Ricardo Jarrett, and PNP councillor for the Salt Spring division Sylvan Reid, remain charged with unlawful possession of property following their arrests in different locations in Montego Bay during the July 18 raids.
The three were offered bail when their matters were brought before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on July 24. Dwight Troupe and Jarrett are to return to court on October 19, while Reid returns to court for hearing on October 23.