Cop tells court US officers only 'observed' execution of arrest warrants out west
A police corporal today revealed that United States law enforcement personnel participated as "observers" in a police operation in Western Jamaica in March this year targeting alleged scammers to be extradited to the United States.
Detective Corporal Nashema Newell of the police Fugitive Apprehension Team made the declaration in the Kingston and St Andrew parish court at the extradition hearing for eight Jamaicans including a police constable Jason Jahalal.
The other accused are: Alrick McLeod, Dhalia Hunter, Oneil Brown, Xanu-Ann Morgan, Karoe Gray, Dario Palmer and Kimberley Hudson.
Tom Tavares Finson, the attorney for Dhalia Hunter was cross-examining corporal Newell when the issue arose that US law enforcement personnel were part of a March 30 operation aimed at executing an arrest warrant on his client.
IN PHOTO: Attorney Tom Tavares Finson
Tavares Finson wanted to know on whose authority the foreign agents participated in the operation.
But Detective Corporal Newell declined to say, noting that it was privileged information she could not reveal.
While the cop was responding, US agents from the FBI, the US postal investigation service, the US Marshall Service and the US District Attorney's office for North Dakota, sat in the Half-Way Tree Court listening to her evidence.
Tavares Finson pointed to one Special Agent Gosper and asked him to stand.
He then asked Corporal Newell if the agent was on the police operation.
Her response: Not sure
But Constable Newell said she was sure the US agents did not travel with local police when they went in search of Dahlia Hunter at her four-storey home in Greenwood, St James.
She said the American team met up with local police at the Falmouth Police Station in Trelawny.
Corporal Newell said that’s where the arrest warrant was officially executed on Hunter and another accused: Kimberley Hudson who was held on the fourth floor of Hunter’s house.
The execution of the warrant became topical as Tavares Finson suggested that upon being arrested, Hunter was not told that she had the right to an attorney or that she was entitled to a phone call.
Corporal Newell admitted that when Hunter was held in a predawn operation at her St James mansion she was not told about those rights.
But she says some ten hours later about 1 o’clock on the afternoon of Wednesday March 30, both Hunter and Hudson were informed about their rights while they were at the Falmouth Police Station.
She says that’s when they both made telephone calls.
The extradition hearing has been adjourned until September.