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'Robust' manhunt on for escapees from Ocho Rios lock-up

Saturday, August 12, 2017

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HEAD of the St Ann Police Division Superintendent Gary Francis says no stone will be left unturned in the probe to determine the circumstances that led to five prisoners escaping from the Ocho Rios lock-up yesterday morning.

One of the escapees has since been recaptured.

Reports are that about 4:00 am, during routine checks, it was discovered that a section of the ventilation grille in the roof of the cell had been cut. Further checks revealed that five prisoners were missing.

The escapees are: David Anderson, 28, who is charged with rape; Leroy Laud, 61, charged with illegal possession of firearm; Nicholas Massop, 22, charged with murder; Reynardo Williams, who is charged with illegal possession of firearm; and Gary Ferguson, 50, who is charged with unlawful possession of property.

The police told the Jamaica Observer that Ferguson was recaptured after he was found in a hut in Content Gardens, St Ann, yesterday afternoon.

Superintendent Francis said the matter is being investigated by the Inspectorate of the Constabulary, as well as other departments of the JCF.

“We are looking at all angles. Wherever the investigation leads, whether it be negligence or otherwise, it will be treated according to the policies and the law. No stone will be left unturned in the investigation of this matter to see if there was anyone who was responsible or negligent,” he said.

According to Superintendent Francis, a “robust” operation is under way to recapture the prisoners.

“We just want to reassure the citizens that we will continue to search for these fugitives until we find them,” he said. “The manhunt will continue until these men are found and placed back where they rightfully belong.”

According to the police, before his arrest, Massop frequented the Pineapple community in Ocho Rios, sections of Spanish Town, St Catherine, and Boscobel in St Mary while Williams was usually seen in the Ocho Rios area. The police said Anderson frequented Drax Hall, St Ann's Bay and Ocho Rios, while Laud frequented Frontier, Pagee and Port Maria in St Mary.

The superintendent also appealed to relatives of the escapees and other residents to refrain from harbouring the fugitives, urging them to call the police if the men turned up at their homes.

The St Ann top cop said harbouring fugitives is a criminal offence and that people will be prosecuted if they have committed the offence.

— Renae Dixon

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