Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Gun barrel watch - Covert operation linked to firearm shipment fails

Published:Saturday | December 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett
Assistant commissioner of police and head of C-TOC, Fitz Bailey (left), addressing members of the media during a press conference at C-TOC offices in Kingston yesterday. Looking on are Clifton Green (centre), detective inspector, and Patrick Samuels, deputy superintendent of police.

A covert attempt by United States (US) law enforcement operatives to apprehend persons in Jamaica connected to the shipment of guns that was discovered in Miami last month came up empty-handed.

According to Jamaican law enforcement sources, the two barrels that were intercepted at the Miami International Airport with an arsenal of 119 guns and more than 200 rounds of ammunition were repackaged with other goods and allowed to continue to Montego Bay.

The source explained that the move was part of a covert attempt by American operatives to nab anyone who showed up to collect them.

The source revealed that the barrels had been under the watchful eyes of American agents and personnel from Jamaica's Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) division since they arrived in Montego Bay last month.

However, it has been reported that no one has come forward to collect them.

Assistant Commissioner Fitz Bailey, who heads C-TOC, declined to comment when contacted yesterday. "I have no comment on that matter," Bailey told The Gleaner.

After days of surveillance, law enforcement insiders said, the joint team moved in on Thursday evening and retrieved the barrels.

It is reported, too, that investigators collected forensic and other evidence they believe can lead them to the persons connected to the shipment.


Barrels sent to woman


The Gleaner first reported on Wednesday that the US Customs and Border Patrol agency found the guns - four rifles and 115 pistols - along with more than 200 assorted rounds of ammunition hidden in two barrels labelled personal effects at the Miami International Airport on November 13.

According to an incident report obtained by The Gleaner, the shipping documents for the barrels indicated that they were to be collected by a female in Montego Bay. "The shipment was due to be exported from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica, via Caribbean Airlines flight (information withheld) on 20/11/17," the report said.

The document listed the sender as a female who resides in Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Florida.