By Paul Kennedy
Underworld sources have revealed with so many major gangland figures locked up – the country’s prison is on high alert amid fears of behind bars retaliations.
Major players from gangs in West Bay and George Town have found themselves rubbing shoulders with one another inside Northward Prison.
This is a combination of long-term lifers behind bars and, more recently, gang members locked up on remand.
“Security is tight,” said one criminal source. “It always is in prison but there’s definitely an added edge around the place.
“If you look at those serving time and those on remand, it reads like a who’s who of Cayman’s gangland.”
Lifers include Devon Anglin and Raziel Jeffers, both men serving heavy sentences for gangland murders in the past, and both are known figures in the Birch Tree Hill gang of West Bay.
Also on the list are killer brothers Justin Ramoon and Osbourne Douglas – both caged for the murder of Jason Powery in George Town in 2015 – and both members of George Town’s Central Gang.
Douglas was last week flown to the United Kingdom to serve his sentence in a British jail.
This was because the authorities received intelligence that he was heavily involved in criminal activity on the outside and was ordering a number of high profile shootings.
His brother, fellow convicted killer Justin Ramoon, was also shipped off to a U.K. prison on Thursday.
After the successful transfer, it is not beyond the realms of possibility the authorities in Cayman could ship more troublesome inmates to the U.K.
“It was a case of he was there one minute, and gone the next,” said our source in connection with the transfer of Douglas.
“None of the inmates had the faintest idea what was going on. Rumours spread around the prison but it wasn’t until much later in the day did they understand what had happened.
“Reality is, it’s probably for the best. After what he had been doing since he was locked up, I’m surprised he’s lasted this long inside.”
The Cayman Reporter also understands many members of the next generation of the West Bay Gang are too behind bars – awaiting trials for a variety of serious offences.
And only this month Andy Barnes, a well-known member of the Logwoods Gang in West Bay – a rival to the Birch Tree Hill outfit – was found guilty of possessing an unlicensed firearm. He is expected to be given a lengthy jail term when sentenced.
Barnes also has a long standing issue with lifer Anglin – the man who was twice acquitted of murdering Barnes’s son, Jeremiah following a shooting at Hell Gas Station in West Bay.
“There’s tension on every corner,” the source said. “Some dating back years. Many of those who hold a grudge are doing serious prison time.
“It’s testimony to the prison they’ve managed to keep a lid on it for so long. Something had to give and that’s one of the reasons Douglas was flown off Island.”
The Cayman Reporter also understands some close members of Douglas’s family have also been kept in the dark as to where he’s been moved to for security reasons.
But it’s understood they are seeking legal advice and looking at whether or not moving him to the U.K. is a breach of his human rights and his rights to a family life – even though he will be locked up for more than 30 years.
He was moved, according to authorities, “in the interests of national security and the public safety of the people of the Cayman Islands.”
No details about exactly what that meant were given – and although he cannot be directly linked to recent incidents of gunfire and shootings around the country’s capital, nor has he been charged with conspiracy to commit any offence, sources say he is the man calling the shots.
“Just because he’s locked up doesn’t mean he’s not in control,” our source added. “Many believe he’s been pulling the strings.
“This is to do with a long-standing feud with the players in West Bay. They were interested in moving in and taking control of illegal trade in George Town. It seems Douglas was having none of it.”
A prison at breaking point
It’s fair to say Her Majesty’s Prison Northward has seen better days. When the jail was opened in 1982 it was built to house a different kind of criminal than those currently incarcerated. Although some improvements have been made over the years many observers believe the time has come to knock it down and start again.
But, as with any such development, that would cost tens of millions of dollars. It is currently full to capacity, with all cells occupied. Reports also state that some inmates are being held in police custody suites because the prison is so jam-packed.
High risk inmates are kept in a special unit, but with limited resources even that poses problems. In 1999, there was a riot in the prison when a number of units were severely damaged by fire.
Female inmates are currently housed in HMP Fairbanks and there are also a number of inmates under the age of 18 locked up.
The major players
Jeffers is currently serving two life sentences for the murders of Damion Ming and Marcus Ebanks. He was also convicted of the manslaughter of Marcos Duran, even though he didn’t pull the trigger, and wasn’t even there when Duran was shot dead. He was found guilty for setting up the robbery that led to the killing of the numbers man. For that crime a further20 years were added to his sentence meaning it’s unlikely Jeffers will ever see the light of day again.
Anglin was jailed for life for the murder of Carlo Webster. The 35-year-old was shot dead at Next Level nightclub in September 2009. During his trial it was said Anglin came out of a rest room, took a gun from his waist band and opened fire. Anglin was also charged with the murder of 7-year-old Jermiah Barnes, and the attempted murder of the boy’s father, Andy Barnes. But after two trials he was acquitted both times and found not guilty.
Justin Ramoon and Osbourne Douglas
Brothers Ramoon and Douglas were jailed for 35 years and 34 years respectively for the murder of Jason Powery in 2015. West Bayer Powery was shot from close range outside the Globe Bar in central George Town where he was drinking with friends. Douglas supplied the gun while his older brother Ramoon pulled the trigger. During sentencing Justice Charles Quin told the pair: “It was, in fact, a very public execution of the most evil nature.”