Sun | Dec 15, 2019

Two more ‘big guns’ seized in St James

Published:Saturday | November 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMHopeton Bucknor/ Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

As the security forces continue their relentless battle to put an end to the debilitating lawlessness that has been plaguing St James, two more high-powered weapons were taken out of the hands of criminals and a number of suspected gangsters arrested in the crime-infested Spring Mount on Wednesday.

The seizure of the guns is good news for the security forces, which are under pressure to produce results in St James, which continues to bleed, with 91 murders since the start of the year. The number includes 79 killings since the state of public emergency was declared in late January.

"Every gun taken off the street is a small victory in our bid to put an end to the murders and mayhem that these criminals are involved in," a senior police officer told The Gleaner yesterday. "We are trying our best to keep the murder count for the year under 100, which would be a significant reduction over last year's 335."

According to reports from the Freeport Police Station, on Wednesday, a joint police-military team carried out an operation between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Union Street and Red Square sections of Spring Mount.

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

During the search of an abandoned house, the lawmen stumbled upon the two 'big' guns - an SKS 7.62 assault rifle with a magazine containing nine 7.62 rounds, and a KEL-TEC sub-machine gun, which was fitted with a magazine containing thirty-seven .40 rounds.

In addition to the guns, the lawmen also seized several masks, cleaning sprays for the guns, as well as three police 'highlight' vests and two ballistic vests. Several persons were taken into custody.

Deputy Superintendent Odane Dennis, the officer in charge of crime in St James, told The Gleaner that opposing criminal gangs have been creating havoc in the Spring Mount community, resulting in the deaths of several persons.

Dennis said that the persons who were taken into custody were picked up at various locations in the community. It is believed that most of the men are involved with the gangs, which have had the community under siege.