A 16-year-old boy, who it is alleged is the leader of the latest criminal gang — the Bed Bugs Gang — causing havoc in Spanish Town, St Catherine is now in police custody and could face multiple charges.
The teenager is the son of a former leader of another of the notorious criminal gangs which operate out of Spanish Town.
His father was fatally shot by gunmen in 2006 and 15 years later the son is believed to have emerged as the leader of the new gang which has been linked to several criminal activities in recent months.
According to Jamaica Observer sources, members of the gang, armed with high-powered weapons, recently robbed several vendors in the town’s market before demanding extortion money from some merchants.
The sources say the activities of the gangsters have come to the attention of the police, with the cops now carrying out operations targeting them.
Yesterday, the constabulary’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) reported that the St Catherine North Police have dealt a significant blow to the Bed Bugs Gang which has been responsible for a recent flare-up of violence in the division.
According to the CCU, as the counter-gang strategy continues in the division, several operations have been conducted with the aim of disrupting the activities of the gangsters and protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people of Spanish Town and its environs.
The CCU said three young men believed to be members of the gang were taken into custody following a series of technology and intelligence-driven operations in Rivoli, Windsor Road and other nearby communities.
It was further reported that about 4:15 Thursday afternoon, a joint police-military operation was launched in the El Prado Vista community in Spanish Town, which resulted in the arrest of the teenage reputed gang leader.
This came after a similar operation on Wednesday in the Rivoli community. During that operation a group of men fled upon seeing the police-military team. Members of the team chased and eventually accosted them.
A Sturm Ruger pistol along with a magazine containing 14 nine-millimetre rounds was reportedly taken from 18-year-old Shanard Allen, otherwise known as Twenty-one, who hails from a Spanish Town address and is an alleged member of the Bed Bugs Gang.
One week earlier, during a targeted operation, the police arrested 23-year-old music producer Damelle Edwards, better known as Bash or Dee, of a Windsor Road address. He was reportedly held with a 9mm pistol and 15 rounds of ammunition.
Spanish Town is also home to the notorious One Order and Clansman gangs.
The St Catherine North Police Division has recorded almost 20 murders since the start of this year.
Headline photo: Jamaica police on patrol in Spanish Town