St James most wanted arrested - Guns and ammo also seized in police operation
The St James police made a major breakthrough in their drive to rein in crime in the division with Monday morning's arrest of one of the parish's most wanted men and the seizure of two guns and several assorted rounds of ammunition.
The captured man is Oneil Goatie Clarke, who was wanted for several counts of murder, shooting with intent, and illegal possession of firearm.
He was captured by the police in an early-morning operation in the Mount Salem community in Montego Bay, during which a black and silver Taurus pistol with a magazine containing 11 .40 cartridges, a black and silver Colt pistol with a magazine containing six .45 rounds, and 12 shotgun cartridges were also seized.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Gary McKenzie, officer in charge operations for St James, Clarke was one of several persons on the police's radar during the operation."We commenced a cordon-and-search operation in the Mount Salem area, and we had some targets in mind, and one of those targets is a very notorious person, Oneil Goatie Clarke. We went into this community and we were able to hold this person," said McKenzie.
"Concerning this person, Goatie, a major sigh of relief is now being had by citizens in that area, because he and other gangsters have been wreaking havoc there."
McKenzie continued: "This sort of operational execution we have done, it is something we aim to continue across the length and breadth of St James because we have several other gang members that are wanted, that we are after. We are going to carry out these operations and seek to not only arrest these wanted men and put them before the court, but also to confiscate the weapons that they have."
This year has been a particularly brutal one in the St James police division, with 239 murders recorded to date, 27 more than the 212 recorded last year. However, McKenzie vowed that the police would put more effort into curbing the crime rate in the parish.
"We have, over the past few months, experienced a lot of crimes, including murders, and we aim to curtail this, going into 2017. We want to ensure that the citizens of St James are safe, and so these efforts will be the order of the day," said McKenzie. "One of the things that is being done is to work with other stakeholders. We have been supported by the Mobile Reserve in Kingston, as well as the military, and we continue to put strategies in place to slow down crime."