Sat | Dec 3, 2022

Sparta Gang warned as Tommy Lee gets three years for gun charge

Published:Thursday | March 25, 2021 | 12:20 AM

Fresh on the heels of dancehall star Tommy Lee Sparta’s three-year imprisonment on gun charges, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, commanding officer for St James, is warning members of the Sparta Gang that their days are numbered.

The artiste, whose given name is Leroy Russell, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years for illegal possession of firearm and two years for illegal possession of ammunition.

Justice Courtney Daye, who handed down the sentence in the Gun Court section of the Supreme Court, ruled, however, that the sentences run concurrently.

The 33-year-old Flankers, St James, native has had many brushes with the law over the past five years.

He was arrested twice under the state of public emergency for his alleged involvement with the Flankers-based Sparta Gang and in relation to lottery scamming. Proceedings were abandoned in both cases.

Ellis said that Wednesday’s outcome showed that “nobody is above the law”.

“If he is not willing to change, he can rest assured that we will be waiting out here for him. I also hope the other members of the Sparta Gang will take heed because the same fate awaits unless they decide to change,” added Ellis.

Tommy Lee Sparta was arrested on December 14, 2020, by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Specialised Operations Unit after a Toyota Mark X motor car in which he was travelling was intercepted on Holborn Road in New Kingston.

During the encounter, he was searched and a 9mm pistol containing 18 rounds of ammunition found in his waistband.

Tommy Lee Sparta was then taken into custody and charged with the offences, which attract a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison in the Supreme Court, with the usual starting point being 10 years.

The artiste’s lawyer, Donahue Martin, following the in camera court hearing, told The Gleaner that the judge took into account that his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest relevant date and was entitled up to 50 per cent discount on the starting point, had no previous conviction, and had been gainfully employed.

Queen’s Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson also represented Tommy Lee.

The popular MoBay artiste is known for hits such as Spartan Soldier, Spartan Angel, Psycho, Rich Badness, and Blessings.

– Adrian Frater and Tanesha Mundle contributed to this story.