J'can cops in US drug bust linked to men nabbed in MoBay

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J'can cops in US drug bust linked to men nabbed in MoBay

BY HORACE HINES
staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 03, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Individuals among the seven men suspected to be major figures in the illegal drug trade who were arrested during a Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC)-led operation in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday have been linked to last week's arrest of three Jamaican police officers in the USA, on drug-related charges.

The police say among those detained are members of a major transnational drug-trafficking syndicate suspected to be behind the illegal export of large quantities of dangerous drugs to the United States and elsewhere in North America, as well as Europe.

The police also reportedly seized a large cache of electronic devices, cash, in both foreign and local currencies, with a value in excess of $1.2 million, a BMW X6 motor vehicle, and a licensed firearm during the Montego Bay operation.

According to the police, the operations were carried out in the communities of Rhyne Park, West Gate, Granville, Mount Salem, Catherine Mount, and Flanker in Montego Bay.

Wednesday's operation, which commenced about 3:00 am and lasted for nearly 12 hours, involved various sections of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force.

Last week, an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against three Jamaican cops filed by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents outlined that the trio allegedly collaborated to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine in the United States.

According to the affidavit filed by Special Agent Jennifer E Krismer, the three members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force — Dremar Graham, Travonne Davidson, and Shermain Gooden — “knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute” cocaine in violation of two titles under US law.

The agent also said that “law enforcement database checks revealed that travel history for Gooden and Davidson showed patterns that are consistent with previous smuggling trends”.

The affidavit, which was filed on June 20, states that Gooden and Davidson were held on June 19, 2020 in Atlanta. Both “had just arrived on Delta 778 from Montego Bay, Jamaica, into Hartfield-Jackson Airport, where they were scheduled to connect to Delta 2022 to Fort Lauderdale”, the affidavit said.

Both were referred to a secondary baggage inspection when a “white powdery substance, which later field-tested positive for cocaine” was found in their luggage, the affidavit said.

Gooden waived her Miranda rights and told the ICE agents that it was Graham who had asked her to carry the illegal substance and that she was “to be paid [US] $2,000 after she met with a person at the hotel in Fort Lauderdale”.

In the meantime, an impeccable police source told the Jamaica Observer that, among the seven detained on Wednesday are individuals who have been on the police radar in the US, over a period of time, and that they could possibly face extradition.


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