Lying in wait, profiling, witness details gangsters' roles

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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A former member of the Uchence Wilson gang, which allegedly created mayhem in five parishes between 2015 and 2017, yesterday painted a picture of the group as a well-organised, criminal enterprise whose modus operandi was robbery.

Twenty-four members of the gang, who were busted in operations in December 2017, including the alleged leader Uchence Wilson, alleged deputy leader Fitzroy Scott, four women including Wilson's companion Shantol Gordon, and police corporal Lloyd Knight, are being tried for various offences under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, commonly referred to as the Anti-Gang legislation, as well as for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

According to the former gangster, who has so far provided details on 12 robberies in which two of the victims were his relatives, and one in which a man was shot four times, the criminal outfit would do a profile on the area, which would include observation, driving by on more than one occasion, and assessing the easiest route in and out as well as how to enter the premises.

So far in the trial, the witness has also testified that before each robbery, the men would be transported close to the robbery site — usually by accused Devin Taylor — and would hide in bushes, change their clothes, then walk to the site to lie in wait for their victims or to break into premises.

During yesterday's proceeding, the Crown witness, who is on day four of his testimony in the Home Circuit Court via video link from a remote location, outlined the roles of some of the alleged gangsters, who are not only alleged to have carried out a string of robberies but also rape, murder and wounding of victims.

The witness again identified Wilson as the leader of the gang who assigned the different roles to each member.

“He give us strict instructions on which robbery we going, or which robbery we not going on, who supposed to take which gun, and how much shots we need,” he said further.

The witness, during previous testimony, also told the court that Wilson was the boss because he was the person who decided how much money would be given to the members after a robbery and also signed off on the price for which stolen goods would be sold.

As it relates to Scott, he testified that he was the primary “spotter”.

“He was the main person who go out and scout out place and decide if that place is worthy to rob,” the witness explained.

The witness, during his detailing of the different robberies, named Wilson, Scott, and other accused, such as Michael 'Judge' Lamont, Taylor and Stephenson 'Slim' Bennett, as being involved in most instances, while indicating that he could not remember the names of some of the others who were also present. In some instances, however, he recalled the names of some alleged members who have not yet been captured.

The witness further testified that Taylor was the main driver, but said he would sometimes be assisted by Scott or Machel Goulbourne, whose role was also to “cut up” stolen motor vehicles.

Lamont's role, he said, was to “jam people and lock guns”.

Another accused, Dane Edwards, the witness said, “…was given strict instructions from Terrence (Wilson) to shoot people, most times, cause him ignorant”.

Continuing to detail the roles of the alleged gang members, the witness said Danovan Cole's duty was to give instructions on which motor vehicles to steal and on vehicle parts, while Keron Walters and Kenith Wynter were allegedly responsible for driving stolen vehicles and also “cutting up” stolen cars.

Cornel White was allegedly tasked with assisting with the sale of stolen car parts, as was Sheldon Christian, who also allegedly assisted with the driving of stolen cars and hiding guns.

Wilson's girlfriend, the witness testified, helped to sell stolen goods, transport guns and pick up weapons after a robbery.

When asked what his role was, he said, “to sell stolen goods”.

Additionally, the witness told the court that several of the defendants were also involved in the selection of robbery sites, as well as the profiling of the areas.

Meanwhile, the court earlier heard shocking evidence from the witness that Corporal Knight allegedly went to collect guns from Taylor, after they had robbed a fruit vendor in St Mary.

The witness said about five guns, including four Glock pistols, were used in that robbery, in which they had stolen a bag of cash from the vendor's house on their second attempt.

The court heard that the witness met Knight before the St Mary robbery, and that on the day they met, he was with Wilson in Three Miles and had given Knight money and phone cards that were stolen from a woman's house the night before.

In relation to the St Mary robbery, the witness said the group, which included Wilson, Scott, Goulbourne, and Bennett, had to initially abort the plot after they went to the man's house and spent hours waiting for him in bushes but he did not show. They left and returned days later.

According to him, he was not involved in the actual robbery that night, as he was outside in the car with the driver. However, he said the men told him that they went inside the house via the basement.

The witness also testified that he and members of the gang also robbed one of his female relatives in St Ann, of “a lot of US dollars”, bath soaps and body wash.

He told the court that he shared a very good relationship with his relative, whom he had lived with for some time, and had not wanted them to rob her, but he had been assured by Scott that she would not be harmed.

The witness said during the robbery he stayed outside and while there, looking through a window, he heard an explosion inside the house and ran into bushes where he was joined by the others. They then left.

For that robbery, the witness said he got $40,000, while he received $20,000 for the robbery in St Mary.

The witness, in a previous testimony, also reported that one of his male relatives, with whom he also had a good relationship, was robbed in St Ann by members of the gang.

The witness will continue to give evidence today before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.


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