PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance on Wednesday dealt with five foreign nationals who were apprehended at Princess Juliana International Airport for possession of false travel documents. The defendants, who were all tried in absentia, were sentenced to two months, according to the Prosecutor’s demand.
Wayneford Harris (42) from Jamaica was held by a sergeant of the Royal Marechaussee on February 12, after he presented a passport with two false Dutch St. Maarten stamps in it.
His attorney Geert Hatzmann pleaded for a conditional sentence, as his client had committed the crime to be able to see his 11-year-old son, who is residing in French St. Martin. However, the Judge sentenced the defendant according to Joint Court of Justice guidelines.
Rocio Marte Fontana (39) from the Dominican Republic was apprehended February 13, after she presented a passport with a false visa page with two French St. Martin stamps, which proved to be printed, not stamped.
Lawyer Hatzmann informed the Court that his client is a mother of five “relatively young” children, who should not be jailed. Besides, the woman already spent one day in pre-trial detention, her lawyer said.
However, the woman in question no longer resides in St. Maarten, which makes the execution of any prison sentence questionable. Therefore, the Judge saw no reason to reduce the penalty.
Carlos E. Polanco Carmona (38), who also hails from the Dominican Republic, was sentenced to two months for the possession of a falsified Venezuelan passport.
He had told the police he was brought to the airport by unidentified persons who had only provided him with the travel document there. The fact that he also carried an identification card (ID) provided by the Dominicano authorities led the Court to consider it proven that Carmona knew the Venezuelan passport was false.
Beranobel Valerio (36) and Yordan E. Pena Cruz (30) were also found in the possession of Dominicano ID cards and fake Venezuelan passports.
Pena had told the police he had paid US $500 for the South American country’s travel document, claiming he did not know that it is not allowed to hold a false passport.