POLICE detained dozens of men from the communities of Tawes Pen and Ellerslie Pen in Spanish Town, St Catherine, during major joint police/military operations in the garrison communities between Wednesday and yesterday.
"We have detained several men and processed them. We also seized a Uzi submachine gun and a motorcar we believed to have been used for criminal activities and we are processing that too," one policeman told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Over the two days, a large contingent of police and soldiers swarmed the neighbouring communities and searched residents, homes and vehicles. They were assisted by a Jamaica Defence Force helicopter.
The operation caused a traffic pile-up in sections of the historic town as motorists and pedestrians alike were ordered away from a busy section of Wellington Street, which borders the communities.
Two sections of Wellington Street were blocked by huge army trucks as stone-faced soldiers in army garb stood guard. Police officers and soldiers were also posted at strategic points on Williams Street ,which borders Tawes Pen and the Spanish Town bypass that borders Ellerslie Pen.
Tawes Pen is known as the headquarters of the One Order criminal outfit, which has for more than a decade wreaked havoc in the old capital as it engaged in a bitter battle with its fierce rivals, the Klansman Gang. The feud has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of persons.
Ellerslie Pen is also a major stomping ground for the One Order gang and is the birthplace of a major player in the gang, who now resides overseas. Other communities known to be strongholds of the One Order gang include Dempshire Pen, Gordon Pen, Shelter Rock, Homestead and Chambers Lane.
But now police sources say the gang is imploding and several murders in recent times have been at each other's throats in an internal feud for leadership.
Police also suspect that One Order operatives were responsible for the deaths of 47-year-old Audrey Barrett and Ministry of Youth and Culture employee, Sean Thompson, who were killed a day apart.
Police report that Thompson, 46, was attacked and shot several times as he was about to leave his vehicle at the entrance to his home in Angels Estate. He was shot more than 20 times.
Less than 24 hours later, Barrett was at her 76 St John's Road home with her common-law husband and children when four heavily-armed men kicked in her door and shot her several times, killing her on the spot.
The rest of her family was not harmed.
Police sources said Thompson and Barrett were not in agreement with the operations of a One Order boss and met their demise because they voiced their opinion in a community meeting.
Police also link the murder of brothers Barrington Robinson, 25, and 34-year-old Germaine 'Coolie' Lawrence in October last year to the ongoing internal gang feud.
The brothers were travelling in a car when they came upon a roadblock.
The men were shot dead when the driver reportedly exited the vehicle and attempted to clear the blockade. The car with bodies was the torched.
Last night, police reported that they had released some of the detainees but had held on to a number of men who were suspects in the murders of Thompson and Barrett.