Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Police: Freed Clansman-One Don gang suspects haven’t been killed or gone missing

Published:Monday | May 29, 2023 | 1:22 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter
Superintendent Howard Chambers
Superintendent Howard Chambers

Superintendent of Police Howard Chambers, commanding officer for St Catherine, is dismissing reports that 16 of the men who were freed in the Clansman-One Don Gang trial have either been killed or gone missing.

“We patrol the communities from which they are from so we would know,” Chambers told The Gleaner in response to a report which surfaced on social media over the weekend.

Two senior detectives close to the gang investigation also dismissed the reports but indicated they were informed that one person from among the batch of men freed has recently gone missing.

The individual, identified as Chevoy Evans, otherwise called ‘Kartel’, was in March found not guilty of being a member of a criminal organisation.

Seventeen of the 33 alleged gang members were acquitted while one, Andre Golding, was gunned down last August while out on bail during the trial.

Four of the men were initially freed in May 2022 after the prosecution conceded that it did not have sufficient evidence to mount a successful case against them while a fifth man was freed in that same month after Chief Justice Bryan sykes upheld a no-case submission by his lawyer.

One of the men, Damaine Elleston, who was among the quartet who was first sent home, was arrested shortly after his release in connection with a double murder in the parish.

Fifteen members of the gang, including leader of the One Don faction, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan and lone female, Stephanie Cole Christie, were however convicted in March and will be sentenced in the Home Circuit Court on July 3.

In the meantime, one of the investigators disclosed that a man who was shot and injured on Saturday at the Spanish Town Bus Park was among the original batch of men who were arrested as part of the gang but was released before the trial. The injured man is said to be the brother of one of the individuals who was recently found not guilty in the trial.

The injured man, the police claim, was targeted because of his alleged affiliation with the faction of the Clansman Gang which now controls the bus park and the multimillion-dollar extortion rackets that operate there.

The man, who remains in hospital, was shot and injured Saturday afternoon in a daring attack which left bystanders scampering for safety.

The incident on Burke Road occurred about 5:30 p.m.

Reports are that the victim was seated in the park among other persons when a man brandishing a handgun, approached him and shot him multiple times.

According to the investigators, the attack is believed to be the start of a new round in the war between the faction that controls the bus park and another faction reportedly loyal to reputed, incarcerated gang leader Tesha Miller.

Reports are that the Tesha Miller-faction wants the spoils to be shared.

However, Chambers said he is not aware of any plans in motion to reignite a gang war at the bus park.

According to him, the bus park has been peaceful in recent times and the police have increased the number of police patrolling the area and the park is once again buzzing with activity.