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Westmoreland gangsters remanded

Bail hearings start June for men, women linked to murders, shootings and robberies

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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SIXTEEN reputed members of the Westmoreland-based Dexter Street Gang, which police say was the recipient of the shipment of 19 guns and more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition found at Kingston Container Terminal last November, were yesterday remanded when they appeared in the Home Circuit Court.

The criminal organisation, which is also called the “Middle East Gang”, is linked to nearly 40 m urders and more than 27 shootings over the past 17 months.

The alleged gangsters, including four women, who were brought before Justice Bryan Sykes yesterday, are all charged for being a part of a criminal organisation, but the court was informed that other charges are pending.

Thirteen members of the gang were picked up during an operation conducted in Westmoreland on May 4 by the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch (C-TOC) while the other four were later arrested and charged. One of the members was, however, not brought before the court yesterday as he was scheduled to appear in an identification parade.

Head of C-TOC, Assistant Commissioner Fitz Bailey, speaking at a press briefing before the court hearing yesterday, said the alleged leader of the gang and its main financier, Shadane Patrick Robinson, also known as Gargon, remains on the run and is believed to be overseas.

Similarly, he said, two other alleged members of the gang — Oshane Rankine, also called Shabba, and Juwayne Barnes, alias Spent Shell — are also believed to be on the run overseas.

The police also listed six more alleged members who they say are wanted. They are: Raphael Robinson, otherwise called 'Bossy'; Dwayne Moore, otherwise called 'Boogsie'; Selah Tomlinson, otherwise called 'Gee Gee'; Kadeem Gokhul; Glenroy Gayle, otherwise called 'Elephant' and George Patterson, otherwise called 'Cruise'.

In the meantime, court dates were yesterday scheduled for bail applications for the accused, starting on June 27. The bail applications will be done mainly in batches of three.

Yesterday, prosecutor Nicholas Edmond revealed that the 17 alleged gangsters were identified by a former member of the gang, who provided the police with detailed operations of the criminal outfit, including its members and their various roles.

Edmond also told the court that the United States traced one of the guns that was in a November 17 shipment to a Jamal Jacobs, who was also the sender, and that following investigations police learnt that the guns were intended for Westmoreland.

According to the prosecutor, the police went to Westmoreland, where the ex-member took them on a tour during which he pointed out 11 places at which robberies took place and the individuals who had taken part.

The ex-gang member also reportedly identified Gargon as the head of the gang.

The prosecutor said that checks made with business persons at the different scenes of the robberies confirmed the crimes which the ex-gangster had spoken about. They were also corroborated by reports in the stations' crime diaries.

The court also heard that the ex-gang member showed the police the various use of gang signs on social media, particularly Facebook, and the gang's base, which was at the home of a woman identified as Miss Pearly.

The former Dexter Street gang member also reportedly told the police about the roles played by the different members, including who was the look-out person, planners, who committed robberies and who did the killings.

In court yesterday, one of the attorneys, Dionne Miller, who is representing four of the accused, complained about the location of the court hearing and questioned why the men were not brought before the parish court in Westmoreland, where they had been held.

She stressed that the anti gang legislation, under which they were charged, said that they were to be brought before a court in the parish in which they were arrested.

“Where is the most convenient forum? All of them are from Westmoreland and all their family reside in Westmoreland,” she argued.

“It's a severe hardship to have them in this court in this parish,” Miller added.

But Chief Justice Sykes told her that the court is being guided by the Criminal Administration Act, furthermore he said it was up to the State to decide where the case would be heard and a selection had been made.

“That's not going to happen; put you mind at rest,” Sykes told Miller in reference to the case being transferred “Once the Crown makes the selection, end of story”.

The men and women were subsequently remanded after dates for the bail application were scheduled; however, one of the accused is to return to court next Thursday to update the court on his legal representation.

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