Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporter
With the search for reputed crime boss Christopher 'Dudus' Coke now out of the way, the police are turning their attention to his cronies.
Several men, believed linked to Coke, have been in police custody since last month when they were arrested during the bloody gun battle in west Kingston.
So far, none of his suspected lieutenants has been charged. But that could change in days.
"What we did was deal with the priority targets first.
"Coke was a priority. He was dealt with first. Others, in terms of their value to organised crime, are being dealt with now," Police Commissioner Owen Ellington announced yesterday.
"We have 80 people now in detention and I think we have charges to be laid on at least 30 already," said Ellington.
He noted that all of the more than 700 persons detained during the west Kingston operation were profiled before they were released and some could be taken back into custody as the investigations deepen.
"This is certainly the largest case that we have ever dealt with in terms of operations, investigations, transition ... so it is going to take time," Ellington said.
The police chief also announced that efforts are now under way to try to trace the source of the 88 guns and more than 14,000 rounds of ammunition seized in west Kingston since last month.
He said the police force has been sharing information on the weapons with its international intelligence partners, including immigration and customs authorities in the United States.
"And they are proceeding to build cases for arresting more persons for trafficking in arms to Jamaica. It is likely that we will get arrests in the USA and it is likely that more persons will be asked to go to the US to face trial for the importation of guns," Ellington said.
He also announced that charges were now being prepared overseas for an individual believed to have shipped guns to Jamaica.
Ellington and Jamaica Defence Force's Major General Stewart Saunders, the chief of defence staff, were guest speakers at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Chairman's Club Forum in New Kingston.