TWO men who have been described by police as "gang leaders" appeared in court yesterday, each charged with being members of a gang.
The men are Vaughn "Sandman" Mieres, 38, of School Road, Las Cuevas, who surrendered to police on Sunday night, and Cassius "Cass" Williams, 26, of Beetham Gardens, who was arrested in Tobago last week.
The first to appear before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar was Mieres, who was represented by defence attorney Mario Merritt.
After the Chief Magistrate read out that Mieres was a member of a gang, his attorney immediately asked the name of the gang, adding that at one point his client worked with the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP).
Merritt said his client's seven-year-old daughter was traumatised after a gun was placed in her face on Sunday and two older daughters had their laptops and iPods thrown in water. Merritt said clothing and shoes belonging to his client were ripped by the officers. He added contrary to media reports, his client fled the Las Cuevas area on Sunday because officers who were in the area were "rounding up men and beating them".
The attorney then requested from Special Prosecutor Sgt Wendell Lucas all video and audio surveillance tapes, the location of the gang, its members and when his client became a member of the gang.
Later in the day Williams, who was represented by defence attorney Patrick Godson-Phillips, appeared before the magistrate charged with being a member of the "Beetham Gang". His attorney, like Merritt, asked for all disclosable material.
Williams was brought into Trinidad on Monday night by Cpl Andre Lopez and PC Anderson Roberts who went to Tobago after he was arrested while at Viola's Guest House at Milford Road, Lowlands, Tobago.
Both men will reappear in court on September 28.