Ali Abdo Ali Alsmet, of Yemen was in Northampton County Circuit Court on Monday requesting that bail be set from his arrest on November 7, 2017 when a routine traffic stop in Exmore revealed 475 cartons of cigarettes which were obviously for resale.
With an interpreter on the telephone, a cousin of the defendant who presented utility bills and an ID with a Richmond address. The cousin stated to the court that if bail was granted the defendant would be living with him in Richmond until his trial. The defendant then testified again using the phone interpreter stating that he was 18 years old and was not a citizen. Alsmet admitted to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Beverly Leatherbury,that at the lower court hearing he had testified he had been back-and-forth to Yemen several times in recent months. Alsmet also admitted that he had had several addresses in New York and that his mother still lives in Yemen.
Defense attorney Marcia Carter asked that the court set a $1000 bond and allow the defendant to live until the January hearing with his cousin in Richmond and that they were offering that the court hold Alsmet’s passport as additional security with the bond.
Leatherbury responded that the defendant had no contacts in Northampton County and not many in Virginia and that she was concerned that he would not appear for his trial.
Judge Lewis then told the defendant again through the interpreter that he was going to grant a $15,000 secured bond after the Richmond business and home address was verified for the cousin and that the court would be holding the defendant’s passport if bond was allowed after the verification.