Mon | Jan 20, 2020

Witness details King Valley Gang’s reign of terror

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2020 | 12:09 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

The Westmoreland-based King Valley gang terrorised the citizens of Grange Hill and its environs, carrying out contract killings, rapes, and a string of bike robberies, leaving unsuspecting victims in fear, according to a Crown witness.

The witness, who cannot be named because of a court order, testified via live video link from a remote location that he was a member of the criminal organisation previously called Lawless Gang, and had carried out at least three bike robberies weekly, some of them on the order of the mob boss.

On these nightly robberies, the 23-year-old said, he was accompanied by Rannaldo ‘Ratty’ McKennis, one of the accused, along with other men only identified as ‘Alkaline’ and ‘Blacks’, dressed in pullovers and pants.

McKennis, Christon Grant, Carlington Godfrey, Lindell Powell, Derval Williams, Hopeton Stanley, Copeland Sankey and Sean Suckra are on trial for various breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) 2014, commonly called the Anti-Gang Legislation, in relation to crimes committed between 2016 and 2018.

STEALING BIKES

“We would go by Glasgow Road. We would stand in the bush. One person would stand on the right side of the road, another would be on the left side of the road, and when we hear the bike coming, the person with the rope will throw it to the person on the other side, then we hold both ends of the rope,” said the witness, who admitted that he was a hitman for the Westmoreland-based gang as day one of the trial went under way.

He added: “So when the bike is coming, we would like stretch the rope firm so that when the bike reaches, the rope will hook and haul him off the bike.”

The former Grange Hill Primary School student said that any attempt by bike owners to recover their property would be met with resistance, as the alleged gang members would brandish their firearms.

The stolen bikes, according to the witness, were then repaired, if necessary, and sold.

The former gang member also told the court that the gang was also financed by one of the accused, who is an alleged lottery scammer.

According to the witness, Grant, who is also called ‘Ekoy’, was the sponsor for the gang, supplying members with money acquired through lottery scamming.

“He would get scamming – buy them – scam white people, and when he get it, he would give the general or leader of the gang,” said the witness, adding that Grant gave the gang at least $200,000 every week.

The ex-gangster confirmed witnessing Grant giving the mafia boss money, indicating that he could guess the amount because he had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from remittance agencies on behalf of scammers in the area.

Earlier in the proceedings, Ricky Hall, who was charged with being a member of a criminal organisation and knowingly providing a benefit to a criminal organisation, was released after the prosecution indicated that it had no evidence against him.

The prosecution yesterday indicated that it will call no more than 10 witnesses to testify following agreement by the defence to admit the identification parade evidence by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com