Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
Since January, members of the security forces have seized 437 illegal guns and 6,800 assorted rounds of ammunition with a street value of more than $35 million.
Eight of these guns, all brand new, were seized yesterday morning during an intelligence-driven police operation in the small fishing village of Bar Hill, Manchioneal, eastern Portland.
Among the weapons were three .357 Magnum revolvers, three 9-mm semi-automatic pistols, one .38 revolver, a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol, and 750 assorted rounds of ammunition.
While the origin of the contraband remains unknown, acting head of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Senior Superintendent Wilford Gayle, said he suspected the guns and ammo might have been coming from Haiti, or elsewhere in the region. For several years now, the security forces have been probing an ongoing guns-for-drugs trade between Haiti and Jamaica.
"I must commend the officers who were involved in the operation because this is a significant cache," Gayle commented.
Found in bushes
According to a member of the operations team, the guns and ammo were found in bushes on a property. He said evidence suggests the guns came in by sea and had just been removed from one of the boats and concealed in the bushes shortly before the arrival of the police party.
The Gleaner further understands that the area where the guns were found was under surveillance for some time by the police.
Two men have been taken into custody. One is a resident of Portland while the other is of a St Thomas address.