We criticize them when they fail to act professionally and so we should commend them when they act accordingly and produce positive results for Jamaica, speaking of the security forces.
This medium wishes to give credit to the CTOC team and to DPP Paula Llewelyn in the case involving Jamaican gunrunner Jermaine Rhoomes .
Rhoomes was given a 57 months sentence by a Florida judge for illegally shipping a number of guns and multiple rounds of assorted ammunition to Jamaica.
Jamaica’s DPP Paula Llewelyn attended the hearing and addressed the court. The accused plead guilty, avoiding a potential 20-year prison sentence.
Rhoomes was busted at his residence in Saint Petersburg Florida after law enforcement busted into his house and eventually found multiple, guns and assorted rounds of ammunition being readied for shipment along with foodstuff.
The DPP reported that it was members of Jamaica’s Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC), who found the barrels, the guns and ammunition inside the barrels on the wharf hidden under packages of flour, rice, and sugar. [Llewelyn said CTOC, through scientific means, made the link between Rhoomes and the weapons and enlisted the assistance of US Homeland Security investigators in Florida which led them to find him, search his house, and find the shipment of guns and ammunition being prepared according to local reporting].
As a critic of the law enforcement process in Jamaica, I am encouraged by the news that collaboration between local and American law enforcement are being pursued resulting in positive results for both countries.
I have long stated that the end game cannot simply be to intercept the shipments, it must be a long game that includes strategically targeted collaborative investigations that traces the shipments of illicit arms and ammunition to the genesis of their existence.
The DPP laudably spoke to the lives that will be saved because this scum was caught and will be cooling his heels in an American prison.
Nevertheless, what is more, astounding is the DPP’s warning that had Rhoomes been tried in Jamaica he would likely have walked free.
As I have tried to remind the Jamaican people in this medium, the political representatives are not doing due diligence on crime. This is resulting in untold unnecessary murders and the resultant trauma those killings bring to ordinary Jamaican families.
The banging on desks and the moronic infantile banter that goes on in Gordon house does precious little, if anything, to advance the interest of the nation.
The DPP cannot say it so I said it.
According to Llewelyn, “Section 4 of the Firearms Act provides that the importation of firearms and ammunition into Jamaica, without the requisite license being a breach of the law. However, the Firearms Act does not provide for arms trafficking as an offense. The circumstances surrounding this case would be on all fours with arms trafficking”.
This is a gaping loophole in the law, no reasonable person in Jamaica or anywhere else who reads this should be under any illusion that this is unbeknownst to the political leadership on both sides of the political divide.
This forces the question of why?
Why would this gaping hole in this critical law be left open? Could this have something to do with who exactly is involved in bringing guns and ammunition into the country?
As the Government and Opposition political party pay lip service to the epidemic of murder which is wreaking havoc on normal people, the evidence suggests that well-connected people are making a killing from this illicit trade.
The DPP should be commended for taking the initiative to spearhead the move to have the weapons found in Jamaica sent back to the United States and having the accused tried in the US knowing the inadequacy of local laws.
At the same time, I must chastise the Director for not being proactive enough. In fact, she has been totally reactive on this issue according to her own accounting.
“I also understand that the Jamaica Constabulary Force has made recommendations to the competent authorities here,(JAMAICA) for ‘a dealing in firearms’ provision to be put into the Act, and what we will do is lend support to that, because it is very important”.
It is unclear whether or not there were consultations between the office of the DPP and the JCF before the aforementioned JCF recommendations were made to the Government?
What is clear is that there should have been consultations between police and prosecutor on a matter this important.
What is also crucial, is that the DPP knew about the police recommendation and clearly did not add the weight of her office to it.
Actions of this nature, or more to the point a lack of action of this nature, are certainly not to her credit.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge, or subscribe to his Youtube channel @chatt-a-box, for the latest podcast all free to you of course.