Sunday, February 25, 2018

DPP gives okay: 7 for trial on gang charges

SEVEN Sangre Grande men charged with being members of a gang known as the "Deportee Gang" are expected to go on trial at the Sangre Grande Magistrates' Court in the coming weeks.

The men were among 17 alleged gangs leaders and members who reappeared before Sangre Grande First Court Magistrate Anna Ryan yesterday.

Yesterday was the first time that Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard decided he will proceed with gang-related charges.

Shawn "Fat Shawn" Homer, 33, is charged with being the leader and a member of the Deportee Gang at McShine Street, Sangre Grande, while Anand Mohepath, 27; Alvin Fitzpatrick, 30; Kadeem "Bully" Romero, 22; brothers Carlos and Marlon Gonzales, ages 31 and 29; including Shawn "X-Man" Sandy, 36, a United States of America deportee, were charged with being alleged members of the same gang.

The charges were laid by Cpl Junior Bernard.

The accused were expecting to be set free yesterday, but all left the courtroom disappointed after Senior State attorney George Busby indicated that Gaspard is interested in pursuing the matters against the men.

Busby said Gaspard has reviewed the file against the alleged members of the Deportee Gang and is of the view that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the men. He asked for an adjournment to prepare, so a date could be set for trial in the matters.

Cuthbert "Lay Lay" Lee, of San Souci, Toco, who was charged by officers of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau, under the Anti-Gang legislation, was the only person who was freed yesterday.

Busby told Magistrate Ryan that Gaspard has stated there is insufficient evidence to pursue the charge against Lee, and the case against the accused should be discontinued.

There was jubilation outside the courtroom among relatives of Lee as he walked out a free man but sad faces on the scores of relatives of the other men who were taken back to the holding cells at the Sangre Grande Police Station under heavy police guard.

Also before the court on gang-related charges are members of the alleged G-Unit, Blue Pitt gang and an unnamed gang from Toco.

Lloyd "LJ" Solomon, 29, is charged with being the leader and a member of the G-Unit, Blue Pitt gang in Wallenville, Sangre Grande, while Ashton "Lappe" Beckles, 24; Victor "Doolie" Trim, 26; and David "Peel" Moore, 25, all of Wallenville Road, were all charged with being members of the same gang.

Trevor "Foxy" King, 36, was charged with being the leader and member of an unnamed gang in Cumana Village, Toco, while Karrel Parvy, 30, and brothers Ron and Reno Sampson, both age 30, were charged with being alleged members of the same gang.

Busby said Gaspard was waiting on further information from the police before he decides on whether he will proceed with the charges against the accused who were charged by PC Verson Jeanville and Cpl Bernard.

He said this information is expected to be made available by next week and asked that the matters against the alleged members of both gangs be adjourned to next Friday.

Despite objections by attorneys representing some of the accused, Magistrate Ryan adjourned the matters to next Friday.

The total number of people set free now stands at 133 after Gaspard gave the directive to discontinue the matters as there was insufficient evidence against the accused to mount a successful prosecution.

Since the proclamation of the Act on August 15, 236 people have been charged with being gang members and leaders.