Another gang busted; 24 members head to court today

Another gang busted; 24 members head to court today

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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TWENTY-FOUR members of the St Catherine-based One Don Gang — a breakaway faction of the notorious Klansman Gang — are scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court today

The 24 alleged gangsters, including one woman, are among 33 people who were arrested during recent police raids, and are said to be responsible for more than 30 murders, including the death of a policeman. Andre 'Blackman” Bryan was named by the police as the reputed leader of the criminal outfit.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey said yesterday that the gang has been accused of committing shootings and extortion in the St Catherine North Division and was earning $57 million from extortion annually.

Bailey told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the accused will be appearing before the court on charges of engaging in the commission of serious crimes, conspiracy to commit murder and being part of a criminal organisation. The remaining nine suspects are scheduled to face identification parades.

“They were arrested over a period of three weeks during operations conducted in St Catherine North police division,” said Bailey. He said police were searching for 30 more alleged gang members, “and we believe we have enough evidence to charge them for being a part of this criminal organisation”.

At the same time, the deputy commissioner, who is in charge of the crime portfolio, said he is very confident about the level of investigation that was done, noting that the state of public emergency in the St Catherine North Division had helped investigators in building a strong case.

Bailey, when asked about the quality investigation that is being done, given the criticism that is being levied at the police in the Uchence Wilson Gang matter where six people were recently freed, said the investigation that was done by the police should not be blamed.

“I don't think it has any effect on what we do. The investigation was done according to law, according to how we know investigation is done and followed well-established procedures.

“The investigation was properly done. We got commendation from the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution) about the quality of the investigation and the evidence based on what we put up.

“The fact is that the interpretation of the anti-gang law has never been done by a court. This is the first case (Uchence Wilson) in which the law is interpreted by the court, and this is the first trial matter, so to speak, that is going through the whole rigours of prosecution and cross-examination,” Bailey explained.

He added: “So, it will act as a landmark for us, as well as it will provide a guide; at the end of the day when we do our brainstorming or when we do our post-mortem review, wherever they are weaknesses we will strengthen. And we will look at the best practices coming out of this trial.”

In the meantime, he said he was confident that the One Don Gang case will end in favour of the prosecution.

Reputed leader Bryan, who has been in custody since March 2018, is believed to have led the split of the notorious Klansman Gang, which was allegedly headed by Tesha Miller who is also in custody awaiting trial.

The internal feuding in the gang had reportedly led to 78 of the 134 murders committed in the St Catherine North Division in 2017 and 25 of the 49 that was committed up to March of 2018.

Bryan has been charged under the anti-gang legislation with attempting to recruit an adult to join a criminal organisation, and with leading a criminal organisation.

His mother, Millicent Brown, his brother Kevaughn Green and his girlfriend Alecia Green were also arrested and charged in 2018.

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