Police are closer to solving the recent fatal shooting of a man in Aux Lyon, Dennery after the discovery of seven marijuana plantations yesterday, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
According to sources, police teams investigating the homicide of 27-year-old Cuthbert Joseph aka Golda discovered and uprooted almost 36,000 marijuana plants in a joint operation between the Major Crimes Unit, Dennery and Richfond police.
Three persons are now in police custody.
The operation was conducted in Aux Lyon, a heavily forested area called Africa – the location where Joseph, a resident of Aux Lyon, was shot on Saturday, September 7, 2013 after a gang of up to seven armed men invaded the plantation.
According to a police press release about the homicide, Joseph was shot between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Sept. 7.
Police said in the press release that Joseph along with 62-year-old Phillip Hippolyte, also known as Ras Mazumba of La Pearle, Dennery, were “en route to their garden” when they were accosted by five armed men”.
The report added: “The men proceeded to tie up Phillip and Joseph. During such time, Joseph attempted to elude the men when several shots were fired in his direction. Hippolyte was able to free himself sometime later and went in search of his companion who he found lying on his back several feet away from where he was tied. Joseph appeared to have sustained gunshot wounds to his upper body. Subsequently, Hippolyte proceeded to the Richfond Police Station where he made a report. Joseph was later conveyed to Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
Though that report gave basic details of the incident, the root runs deeper.
According to reliable sources, though the shooting took place on the plantation, Joseph’s body was carried close to civilization, about three hours away from the marijuana plantation/s, in a bid to keep the actual location of the illegal farm secret from the police. The shooting took place early in the morning but was reported to police at about 2:30 in the afternoon.
A source close to the investigations yesterday directed the officers to the actual scene which is about four hours walk up and down hills from the Montego Bay area in Aux Lyon. Reports are that the operation began at 10 am and was completed at about 7 pm.
Sources further revealed that the men responsible for Joseph’s murder and raid/robbery of the marijuana plantation belong to a gang in the Babonneau/Chassin area.
It is understood that the robbers – a gang of about five to seven men – walked almost seven hours from Babonneau to Aux Lyon, through the mountains.
Friday’s bust comes two days after 10,500 marijuana plants were uprooted and destroyed from 10 plantations in Aux Lyon, La Perle and La Ressource.
A police press release said that “eradication exercise” was conducted by officers attached to the Drug Unit, Special Services Unit, Dennery and Richfond Police Stations in the three communities at Dennery on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
No one was arrested in relation to this operation.
That same day (Wednesday, September 11, 2013) police scored another drug bust. At about 11:37 pm, officers attached to the Marine Unit of the Southern Division intercepted a vessel named “Stranger” off the coast of Cap Marquis in the north with 600 pounds of the illegal plant.
“The vessel was boarded and searched. At the time, there were five men on board, all of whom are from Dennery,” a police press release said.
“During the search, the officers recovered two packages of what appeared to be cannabis. Several other packages containing similar plant materials were recovered from the water. In total, 16 polythene bags were recovered. The vessel was escorted to the Marine Unit along with its occupants and contents. All the individuals were arrested and taken into custody for drug-related offences. They are expected to be charged at a later date by officers attached to the Drug Unit.”
Efforts to contact the investigating officers in relation to the drug busts over the past three days have been unsuccessful. Reports are that they are out of office for the weekend.