Saturday 6 June, 2020

Alleged Dester Street gangsters from Westmoreland remanded at court

Sixteen alleged members of the Dester Street gang from Westmoreland, including four women, were remanded in custody when they appeared in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on Wednesday afternoon.

They are before the courts under what is popularly known as the anti-gang legislation.

One detainee from among 17 suspects who were held by the police in operations last week, was released.

The group appeared before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.

At the hearing, it was reported that a former member of the gang who had been arrested has been assisting investigators in identifying other alleged members of the gang.

The accused persons are scheduled for a bail hearing on June 27.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations (C-TOC) Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) indicated at a press briefing in Kingston, that some other members of the gang who are being sought had reportedly fled the island.

These include the gang's alleged leader and main funder, Shadane Robinson, otherwise called ‘Gorgon’, who was charged but later released on bail, and has absconded and reportedly fled to the United States. 

At the media briefing, C-TOC boss, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey said at least two other alleged members of the gang are believed to be overseas. They are Juhane Barnes, otherwise called ‘Spent Shell’, and Oshane Rankine, alias ‘Shabba’.

Bailey said the gang, which has now been linked to almost 40 murders in western Jamaica since January 2017 - including the brutal killing of seven persons in an inter-gang feud that played out in Grange Hill, Westmoreland a few weeks ago - came most prominently onto the police’s radar after a shipment of 19 guns and approximately 4,000 rounds of ammunition which was consigned to the criminal outfit, was intercepted at the port in Kingston last November.

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