All the top gangsters in Jamaica are in prison – Bailey

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Several persons who are leading figures among the island’s main criminal gangs are currently incarcerated, according to Deputy Commissioner in charge of the crime and security, Fitz Bailey.

In fact, the senior crime fighter said all of the island’s “top gangsters” have been locked away in the island’s prisons or detention facilities, bringing a halt to their nefarious activities.

“Never in the history of Jamaica we have seen so many gang members – persons who are called influencers of crime – now in prison,” declared Bailey during a panel discussion at last week’s staging of the 10th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay, St James.

“… All the top gangsters in this country are in prisons, behind bars,” he said as members of the audience clapped loudly.

The senior lawman said improvements in the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) investigative skills have helped to improve the security of the nation’s citizens.

Bailey pointed to statistics which showed that in 2018, gang murders accounting for 80 per cent of all murders in Jamaica.

“Currently, that has been reduced to 63 (per cent), so the strategy we have embarked on as a law enforcement body is working.

“Jamaica on a whole is safe. In fact, our crime rate is (mainly) concentrated in some specific, defined areas in the inner-city areas, so the majority of Jamaica is actually safe,” Bailey told a member of the diaspora who expressed concerns about crime.

He also stated that it has been through capacity building, training and the use of technology “why we (the police) are seeing the results we are seeing”.

In recent years, three leaders of top local criminal organisations have been among the island’s top gangsters who have been convicted of serious crimes, while others have been detained and are awaiting trial.

Among the top gangsters are Tesha Miller, the alleged leader of the Clansman gang; Uchence Wilson, the convicted leader of the Uchence Wilson gang; and Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, the convicted leader of the ‘One Don’ faction of the Clansman gang.

Tesha Miller

Alleged leader of the Clansman gang, Tesha Miller, was sentenced in January of 2020 to nearly 39 years in prison following his December 2019 conviction for accessory before and after the fact in connection with the murder of then Chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Douglas Chambers.

Chambers was shot dead outside the JUTC head office and bus depot in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town on June 27, 2008.

Miller is awaiting the outcome of an appeal of the conviction and sentence.

However, Miller’s legal woes have soared, as, in March of this year, he and 22 other men were arrested, charged and indicted under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act (Anti-Gang Legislation).

A statement at the time from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said the men are alleged to be a part of a criminal organisation – the Clansman Gang, ‘Tesha faction’, allegedly led by Miller – and reportedly participated in several criminal activities between August 5, 2017 and August 22, 2022 in St Catherine.

The charges against them include murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravation, illegal possession of firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.

File photo

When the men, along with Miller, were first brought to court on a voluntary bill of indictment that was proffered by the ODPP, the two counts were as follows:

COUNT 1: Tesha Miller for leadership of a criminal organisation – Klansman Gang, ‘Tesha Faction’ – between August 5, 2017 and August 22, 2022.

COUNT 2: Bjourn Thomas, Jermaine Hall, Kirk Forrester, Sharn Gilzene, Owen Billings, Jermain Clarke, Sharn Pottinger, Ryan Harrison, Michael Wildman, Ramone Stewart, Jerome Spike, Conroy Cadagan, Kamali Wynter, Kemar Miller, Kemar Francis, Charles McCleary, Carlos Williams, Dwayne Frater, Rolndo Spence, Nashaune Guest, Lamar Rowe and Geovaughni McDonald for participating in a criminal organisation on a day unknown between August 5, 2017 and August 22, 2022.

Uchence Wilson

In December of 2020, Uchence Wilson, whose criminal outfit of the same name netted hundreds of millions of dollars from illegal activities across sections of the island, was sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison on various charges, including leading a criminal organisation and shooting with intent.

The other eight members of Wilson’s gang received sentences ranging from four to eight years in prison.

Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan

Interestingly, Bryan was charged with the 2008 murder of then Chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Douglas Chambers. However, he was freed by a jury following his trial on the murder charge in 2016.

But in March of 2023, Bryan was among 15 members of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang who were convicted on various charges.

Bryan is serving 39 years and six months in prison after being convicted of being the leader of a criminal organisation, as well as facilitating serious crimes, including the shooting of a couple and the torching of their dwelling house with them inside the structure.

Also among the 15 ‘One Don’ gangsters convicted was a lone female, Stephanie ‘Mumma’ Christie. The 48-year-old St Thomas female pastor was only found guilty of being part of a criminal organisation, an offence with a maximum penalty of 20 years.

At the end of her sentencing on October 2, 2023, Christie was given nine years and nine months for her role in the criminal network, which included defending Bryan against any opposition in the gang, and communicating with the police if there was a problem with gangsters.

Notably, the ‘Tesha’ faction and the ‘One Don’ faction of the Clansman gang are enemies, the police have stated previously.

Other top gangsters in prison locally or overseas

Among some of the island’s other top gangsters in local prisons for various crimes are Joel Andem, the former leader of the Gideon Warriors gang.

His gang was known to operate in the Land Lease, Mud Town, Kintyre, Papine, August Town and other communities in eastern St Andrew. They are said to have been involved in committing at least 20 murders, rape, extortion, shootings and other serious crimes.

After his capture in May of 2004, and subsequent remand, Andem was convicted and slapped with two 20-year sentences for illegal possession of a firearm and shooting with intent at the police.

Andem’s then second-in-command, Richie ‘Richie Poo’ Tyndale, is serving a 30-year sentence for shooting and robbing a policeman in 2003.

Reputed Matthew’s Lane don, Donald ‘Zeeks’ Phipps, is serving a 30-year sentence for the 2006 murders of Dayton ‘Scotch Brite’ Williams and Leroy Farquharson.

Former Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, is serving 23 years in a United States prison on drug and gun-related charges. He was sentenced in June of 2012, this after he pleaded guilty almost a year earlier in August 2011.

Coke was extradited to the US after being captured by local law enforcers in June of 2010.

Coke’s arrest came weeks after a bloody warfare between the security forces and gunmen aligned to Coke. Known as the ‘Tivoli incursion’, 73 civilians and a soldier were killed during the incident, which attracted international media coverage.

Ranko gang 

Among the alleged gangs now awaiting trial in Jamaica is the Ranko gang.

The Ranko gang was allegedly led by a Clarendon-based Police Constable, Tafari Silvera.

The Ranko Gang, which allegedly included four cops, was reportedly linked to 17 incidents ranging from shootings, burglary, robbery with aggravation, illegal possession of firearm, shop breaking, conspiracy to murder, and abduction.

The offences allegedly spanned Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth, St Catherine, St Mary, Trelawny, Kingston, St Andrew, and St James between 2019 and 2021.

Silvera and his 11 co-accused are jointly charged with breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisation) Act — commonly referred to as the anti-gang law.