Brothers wanted total control over the local drugs marketPOSTED: 10/19/12 11:46 AM
St. Maarten – The Vesuvius-trial arrived at a decisive stage yesterday when the prosecution presented its demands against the seven suspects. The demand runs 93 pages and contains a wealth of information about the murders they are accused of.
The defendants are charged with the liquidations of Hector Miguel Arrindell (May 25, 2011) Rodolfo Arrindell (July 7, 2011) and Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs (August 17, 2011), attempted murder on Amador Jones-killer Omax Bye and attempted manslaughter on Kennedy Fergus (both on April 20, 2011), attempted manslaughter on Onelly Dasent Furgentia (a hairdresser who was hit during the murder of Eric Lake), firearm possession and membership of a criminal organization.
The prosecution concludes based on the investigation that Amador Jones and his brother Omar wanted to gain control over the local drugs business. “Everybody who wanted to deal in drugs had to do this through their organization. They had to pay a fee to the brothers – a kind of criminal tax,” prosecutor mr. Bart den Hartigh said. “Those who refused to pay had their drugs taken away.”
This was also the case with Hector Miguel Arrindell, “a well-known drugs dealer.” When Arrindell received a cocaine shipment at the airport, Amador Jones stole it. Arrindell could get his drugs back after paying a fee.
Arrindell chose another solution: in consultation with Brian Ch. and Eric lake he decided to eliminate the brothers. Brian Ch. hired Omax Bye from St. Kitts to do the job, the prosecution maintains. Akeem Daniel (in the meantime sentenced to 9 years as an accessory to the Amador Jones Murder) and (probably) Jamal R. assisted Bye.
Amador Jones’ murder did not weaken the organization he allegedly led together with his brother as Arrindell had expected. Instead, he became the next murder victim on May 25, and on July 7 his brother Rodolfo was also executed. In August Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs were shot to death at Cat’s on the Illidge Road. Brian Ch. had fled the island in the meantime; he is currently detained in Guadeloupe where he is serving a 20-year sentence for another murder.
The prosecution suspects that revenge for Amador Jones’ murder was not the only reason for the subsequent killings. “They were all competitors in the very lucrative drugs market. Their death could be extra profitable for the defendants.”
On the evening of April 16 the family of Amador Jones came together and called for revenge. Charles F., a cousin of the victim, told investigators: “It was also mentioned in the group by everyone that the shooter of Amador Jones had to be killed.”
This led to the shooting near the (former) Tan Tan supermarket in Dutch Quarter. Kennedy Fergus was there together with Omax Bye. Fergus later told police that he had recognized Omar J. as the man who opened fire on Bye with a machinegun. Bye escaped with his life because he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Fergus sustained injuries.
Omar J. went in hiding but reported in the end on April 26 to the police where he denied his involvement in the shooting. The prosecution charges that J. was released on May 16 based on his own denial and on an alibi provided by “his wife, his mother, his niece and his aunt (Regina Labega)” but that later on it turned out that this alibi was false.
Apart from Charles F., defendant Erno L. is also a cousin of Amador Jones and of alleged gang leader Omar J.
The evidence against all defendants stems from statements by some of them (like Andrew D. and Carlos R.), from anonymous witnesses and from forensic data.
Several witnesses have stated that they heard Omar J. say that he would kill everyone who had something to do with his brother’s murder. Hector Miguel Arrindell was killed on May 25 when he was walking his dogs in Cole Bay near the El Riconcito bar. His brother followed on July 7, and in both cases the prosecution charges that Carlos R. pulled the trigger, while Omar J. at least gave the order for the killings.
The prosecution maintains that Omar J. had a special relationship with his messenger boy Carlos R. whom he referred to in a text message on July 7 as his younger brother.
From forensic evidence it became clear that the same weapons were used for all shootings, and defendant Carlos R. confirmed this to investigators.
The prosecution found all seven defendants guilty of weapons possession.