Big gun bust at Deane's wake - Police seize six illegal weapons, ammo but criminals escape
Six handguns and 64 rounds of assorted ammunition were seized by the Montego Bay police early yesterday morning in the community of Rosemount, where a wake was being kept for Mario Deane, the construction worker who died on Independence Day from injuries sustained while in police custody three days earlier.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Egbert Parkins, the commanding officer for the St James Police Division, at approximately 4:10 a.m, a police patrol drove into the crowed wake, where residents were being entertained by a sound system. They observed suspicious movements around a parked motor car and went to check.
"As the policemen approached the car, a group of men immediately ran off in different directions," said Parkins. "During a search, the six guns and the ammunition were found underneath the car."
Parkins described the seized guns as powerful weapons, identifying them as:
- One Glock pistol, with serial number HP2962, which was loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition.
- One Heckler & Koch .45, with serial number 25027381, which was loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition.
- One Walther PP 9mm, with serial number 02386, which was loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition.
- One FEG .45, with serial number 003132, which was loaded with seven rounds of ammunition.
- One Arcus 9mm, with serial number 25PK502315, which was loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition
- One Colt .45, with serial number 70615847, which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition.
"As you can see, these guns were well kept and I have no doubt that they were active in the criminal underworld," said Parkins. "Based on the amount of ammunition, we may well have ended up saving some 64 lives with this find."
Parkins was full of praise for the police team which found the guns.
According to him, while there was a large crowd at the location, the cops were observant enough to identify the group of men, who were acting suspiciously.
"I have to commend the team because after the men fled, they could have also moved on without searching the area," said Parkins. "Had they not done the search, these guns would still be in the hands of criminals."
In reacting to the find, a resident of the Rosemount community said she was disappointed that armed thugs had turned up at the wake.
"What happened (the gun find) does not at all reflect the type of person Mario Deane was … so we are angry that these men came here with guns," the resident, who asked not to be identified, told The Sunday Gleaner. "I am embarrassed by the situation, but in the same breath, I must congratulate the police for a job well done."
Parkins, who will be leaving the St James Division for Area Two at the end of the month, said he is deeply saddened that despite the many and varied types of intervention the police have employed, the situation still exist in the parish where six illegal guns could be found at one location.
"We just have to keep on engaging the communities, especially the young men, to turn their lives around and pursue other options besides crime," said Parkins. "This is a fight that we cannot give up or anarchy will reign in the future."