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'Notorious drug dealer' surrenders

A 37-year-old alleged drug dealer and trafficker, who has close ties with a Second Division Officer (SDO) in the North Eastern Division, surrendered to police on Saturday night.

Reports state that the man, whose alias is "Sandman", of School Road, Las Cuevas, surrendered to officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force around 9 p.m. He was at the time in the company of his lawyers and his 33-year-old brother.

Sandman and his brother were taken to the Morvant Police Station where they are expected to be further interviewed by police officers in relation to gang and drug activities.

Yesterday afternoon, however, the brothers were taken to their Las Cuevas home by detectives of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau and searches were conducted. Up to press time the search was ongoing.

Sources say Sandman telephoned the SDO and initial arrangements were made for him to surrender at the Blanchisseuse Police Station.

However, this arrangement was scrapped as the curfew came into effect and new arrangements were made, resulting in him surrendering at a house in Blanchisseuse.

Sources say that following the announcement of the State of Emergency and the heavy presence of the army personnel in the Las Cuevas area where Sandman resides, he panicked and went into hiding.

Only last week, army officers received information that several high powered rifles were buried near the wanted man's home in Las Cuevas.

Army officers went to the area and, with the assistance of a backhoe, dug up several areas but found nothing.

Described by law enforcement officers as being "a notorious player in the illegal drug and arms and ammunition trade", Sandman allegedly has criminal ties in the region.

Senior intelligence sources also said that they have substantial information that connects Sandman to major drug traffickers and drug trafficking activity in South America.

They say he provides a significant amount of contraband to the North and South areas of Trinidad.

"He's also a main link to Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. You can compare him to Dudus of Jamaica. He's like the Trini Dudus. Others may say don't big him up like that, but that's the truth of his involvement," said an intelligence officer.

Officers say upon checking their records, they discovered that he has three sheets of pending matters and convictions.

Ten years ago, Sandman was convicted for robbery and was sentenced to three years imprisonment. He also has several matters including firearm, wounding and other offences at the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court.

—with reporting by Mark Bassant

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