Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Nasty alliance between two cops, gangs outlined in court

Published:Thursday | January 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson

A nasty alliance between the Uchence gang and two members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) was outlined in the Supreme Court yesterday as prosecutors described how the cops cemented their place in a criminal outfit that plagued at least seven parishes.

Prosecutors Jeremy Taylor and Claudette Thompson yesterday pleaded with Justice Georgiana Fraser to deny bail for the two cops and their alleged cronies after outlining how the gang has mercilessly executed more than 40 crimes across the parishes since 2015.

"The offences for which they are charged are grave. They are very serious, and the strength of the evidence is grave," stressed Taylor.

"They range from murder to robbery to illegal possession and rape, and the punishment is very severe," said Taylor, adding that the notoriety of the crimes, which included reports of victims being pistol-whipped and bound before being killed, suggests that the accused persons may pose threats to witnesses and their families.

The policemen, Detective Corporal Lloyd Knight and Constable Stephon Martin, are both accused of accessory before and after the fact in the carrying out of a serious offence by a criminal organisation, this reportedly in return for measly sums of cash and stolen appliances, the prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors also said that the cops hid and transported illegal guns, chose victims, and used service vehicles to ensure that criminal operations, including armed robberies, are conducted smoothly.

Uchence Wilson and Fitzroy Scott were both made out to be leaders of the criminal organisation, which had its stomping grounds in St Catherine, Clarendon, St Mary, St Ann, St Mary, Trelawny, and Manchester.

The other accused were fingered for playing a part in the criminal network, facilitating serious offences by a criminal organisation, and knowingly obtaining benefits for a criminal organisation, among other charges under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), also called the anti-gang legislation.

Yesterday, except those representing Wilson and another accused, who declined to make a bail submission, defence attorneys asked for more time to prepare bail applications. One of the accused will seek bail today, while the others will go before the courts next week.