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Arrested 23-year-old linked to 10 murders and counting - cops

Published:Thursday | February 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell has revealed that Yasser James, one of the country's most wanted men who was captured yesterday, has been implicated in more than 10 murders "and counting."

The 23-year-old James, more commonly known as 'Fry Eye', was taken into custody with two other men in Spanish Town, St Catherine, during a joint operation conducted by the St Catherine North Police and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime division and the Narcotics division.

The identities of the other men have not been released.

Police investigators said James, who is from Epping district in Hanover, has been on the run for more than four years after he absconded bail in St Elizabeth.

Powell, who heads the JCF's Criminal Investigations Branch, said James is the leader of a Hanover-based gang and a major violence producer in western Jamaica.

He said that in addition to the more than 10 murders, police investigations have linked 'Fry Eye' to a number of shootings and robberies in Hanover.

"He has had a significant negative impact on the violence in Hanover and the wider western Jamaica," the crime chief said, adding that there were several warrants out for his arrest.

Powell said James will first be charged with absconding bail and thereafter will be interviewed in the presence of his attorney before other criminal charges are filed against him.

The crime chief described James' arrest as a major success for the police and praised his colleagues for the work that led to his capture.

Hanover has already recorded more than 12 murders since the start of the year, compared to just one for the corresponding period last year.