Witness says he recorded phone conversations with gangsters

The second Crown witness in the trial of 33 alleged members of the Klansman gang yesterday told the court about more murders committed by the criminal organisation and revealed how he secretly collaborated with detectives to record phone conversations between himself and Andre “Blackman” Bryan, who is accused of being the gang's leader.

According to the witness, he was among a team that Bryan, armed with an AK-47, led on foot one night from Jones Avenue to a house in a community called Fisheries to murder a man he referred to as “Bobo Sparks” who was aligned to the Tesha Miller faction of the gang.

The man was killed while he was in bed with a female companion, who was also killed. The witness said he was tasked with transporting a crate of Molotov cocktails, which he referred to as “bottle boom”, to torch the house after the killings.

He said they removed a manhole cover close to the compound of a hardware store and “went under”, to gain access to the property, then jumped over a wall which landed them in Fisheries.

“Everyone had a gun, except for me. I didn't even want to go in the first place. Blackman had an AK with the pan clip, CJ had the .45 and Dylon had the Intratec, Shrek had the 'God' and Mackerel was there with a Smith and Wesson handgun,” the witness testified from a remote location.

“Blackman made a call and whispered, 'How di road stay?' and then he said 'Biggs seh di road good and wi can go over the wall'. We all go over di fence of the hardware. We could see the bridge and we crossed the road to Fisheries. We went through a lane and kicked a gate open. CJ kicked in the door to a one-bedroom board house and a girl was in the bed screaming.

“Blackman took CJ gun and kill the man, who was a top shooter for Tesha Miller. Him shoot him up. The girl was still screaming and begging for them not to kill her. CJ took the gun from Blackman and shoot her. Pappa took the crate from me with the bottle boom and him and Shrek light it and start to fling it in the house and set it on fire,” the witness claimed.

He said they left the premises and before heading out of the community, kicked in the doors to two other houses. However, when Bryan realised the occupants were elderly, he said they shouldn't be harmed.

The witness spoke of the killing of two men allegedly from Denham Town in Kingston which he said occurred in Rivoli, St Catherine, one night. The men, he said, were on their knees when he heard them being threatened with death. He left the scene and the next day, he said he was told by Biggs that the men were killed.

Another murder, he said, was committed just outside a hardware store in Spanish Town.

“Blackman seh 'Dem bwoy deh a ramp wid mi badness, a bet yuh mi kill one a dem today.' After Blackman seh 'Nyam him food' Mawga Man' ran across the road with a silver and black Smith and Wesson and run up to the man and start shot him. When the man fell on the ground, he went over him and fired few more shots. He ran back across the road,” the witness said.

He also spoke of the killing of a bus driver, which caused people to “run up and down”, bringing traffic to a standstill.

The witness also told the court of another murder on Jones Avenue which he claimed was carried out by two members of the gang known as “Rooster” and “Stenneth”. He claimed too, that Bryan's instruction was that the killing was to appear to be the work of thugs from De la Vega city.

The witness then went on to tell the court that he handed over two handguns to a detective in 2018 which belonged to the gang. He shared too, how he and that same detective visited crime scenes where he would explain how the killings unfolded. He also said he showed the detective where members of the gang lived and even took him to identify Bryan's house on Jones Avenue.

He told the court that the detective gave him a smartphone, which he used to secretly record phone conversations with Bryan and other members of the gang. He said he was given a second cellphone by detectives which he also used to record calls.

He testified that Bryan told one of the gang members to give him a cellphone after he [Bryan] became concerned that he was not able to reach him. The witness said that when he got the third cellphone, he used it to record conversations as well, and all the recordings were turned over to the police.

He also outlined some of the gang's extortion operations, sharing that vendors, taxi and bus drivers were routinely extorted.

“You have two wholesales in Greendale, near to Shelter Rock, and also a Chinese wholesale across the road from Shelter Rock, a restaurant and racehorse gambling place in Greendale. They also collect extortion from an auto parts place. Sometimes I have to bring “Squeeze Eye” or “Deno” to collect from these businesses,” he claimed, adding that Bryan's mother had received some of the extortion money.

The witness said he had advised Bryan to use the extortion proceeds to build a studio on Jones Avenue to generate revenue, instead of buying guns and ammunition.

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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