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Crackdown on prison contraband in Jamaica

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Crackdown on prison contraband in Jamaica
April 14, 2006 09:14PM
Crackdown on prison contraband in Jamaica
published: Thursday | March 2, 2006

Glenroy Sinclair and Petrina Francis, Staff Reporters

The Tower Street Correctional Facility, downtown Kingston.

AN ONGOING investigation into a lucrative contraband ring in some of the island’s prisons has netted close to $500,000 in cash, hundreds of cellular phones, a large quantity of ganja and several pieces of equipment over the past two years.

This is according to Major Richard Reese, head of the Department of Correctional Services. He said a small group of correctional officers and visitors have been implicated in the illicit trade, which is more prevalent at the two maximum security prisons in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, and Tower Street, Kingston.

“Last year we arrested six correctional officers and four visitors for contraband, and so far this year we have caught four correctional officers,” said Major Reese. “Once taken before the court, they are dismissed.”

Among other contraband seized were cigarettes, jammers or improvised ice picks, television sets, DVD players, hotplates, and ratchet knives. These items were detected by the high-tech security system implemented in the penal system.


Commissioner Reese also confirmed that at least $8,000 was found in the cell of popular reggae artiste Siccature ‘Jah Cure’ Alcock last September. There are also reports that an ATM card was taken from another inmate. It is suspected that the card was being used by other persons to conduct transactions on behalf of that inmate.

Commissioner Reese also revealed there was further evidence of warders conducting transactions at certain financial institutions on behalf of some inmates.

“On Monday another warder, Oneil Thompson, was held at the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Institution, after a quantity of ganja was found on his person. While being searched, he attacked one of the correctional officers with a knife and had to be restrained,” said Commissioner Reese during an interview with The Gleaner on Tuesday.

Reports are that two weeks ago, two temporary warders, Talbert White and Marlon Grant, were found with contraband in their possession at the Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston. Also in January, another warder was found with a knapsack containing several packets of ganja, cellular phones and other items.

Meanwhile, last March, four correctional officers were sent on leave following investigations into reports that a small group of warders was trafficking contraband into the Tower Street maximum security prison.



819 cellphones

157 ratchet knives

76 cellphone chargers

300 jammers (improvised knives)

9,323 packets of ganja

71 hot plates

735 packs of rizzla

17 DVD players

16 compact discs

146 packs of cigarettes

9 television sets

6 CD players

13 parcels of ganja (weighing almost seven pounds)
Re: Crackdown on prison contraband in Jamaica
April 14, 2006 10:44PM
Jah Cure's stash, if in JA currency, was about $120.00 in US funds.
Re: Crackdown on prison contraband in Jamaica
April 14, 2006 11:07PM
Most Depressing Statistic Ever....


9,323 packets of ganja
735 packs of rizzla

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