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US fugitive held in Jamaica after 15 years on the run

Published:Friday | February 17, 2017 | 9:35 AM

The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Fugitive Apprehension Team has come in for high praise from the United States Embassy in Kingston following the arrest of an American citizen who has been hiding in Jamaica for 15 years.

The American has been identified as Keemeit Hand.

The Embassy says Hand was indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia, for possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.

It says Hand was arrested and released on bail pending trial, but failed to appear in court for his trial.

As a result, the Embassy says a warrant was issued for his arrest, but American law enforcement authorities theorised that he had fled the United States.

The Embassy says earlier this month US and Jamaican law enforcement personnel renewed their efforts to apprehend Hand after intelligence suggested that he may he hiding in Jamaica.

It says investigators analysed suspicious records of a relative of Hand which led them to a house in St Andrew.

The Embassy says on Wednesday investigators who were conducting surveillance operations saw a man arrive at the residence.

It’s reported that the man gave investigators false identification before revealing his true identity during an interview with detectives.

The Embassy says Hand will be deported back to Georgia by the United States Marshals Service as soon as immigration proceedings are completed.