Jamaican police have disclosed that Dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta was escorted to the Corporate Area last week, where searches were conducted at several apartments. They made the announcement while also revealing the arrest of ten men who they say are affiliated with the St James-based Downtown Sparta Gang.
The cops, in their press release today, did not indicate what role Tommy Lee Sparta played in the searches. The deejay has been in police custody for over three weeks.
“The St James Police escorted Leroy Russell otherwise called ‘Tommy Lee Sparta’ to the Corporate Area last week, where searches were conducted at several apartments,” one tweet said.
The JCF also confirmed that the Rich Badness singer is still being held in St James under that parish’s State of Public Emergency (SOE). “Investigations continue into the activities of the gang,” they added.
Tommy Lee, who once lived in Flanker community in the parish, has been custody since July 7, when he turned himself into the Freeport Police Station to assist with investigations into a spike in crime and violence in the community.
His lawyer, Ernest Smith, told the Jamaica Observer on July 8 that the deejay “broke down in tears because he was very emotional that he has left Montego Bay for good and his name is [still] being called” in police investigations concerning the Flanker community.
“It is time for all of us to unite and peacefully condone discrimination against Tommy Lee Sparta and all artists who are either wrongfully detained, accused of or imprisoned for alleged crimes they never committed,” Nicole Taban also known as Boss Lady, wrote in a statement earlier this month.
Tommy’s baby mother, Donna-Hue Anglin, has also expressed concern about how the situation has affected their two sons, ages 14 and 17.
Days before turning himself in, Sparta had denounced gun violence in an Instagram post, noting that violence was not the answer as he made reference to the shooting incident involving fellow artiste Rygin King.
Meanwhile, the JCF also announced that ten men, who are “linked to the downtown Sparta Gang,” were arrested in Kingston last night “during multiple coordinated operations across the Corporate Area.”
The police further noted that a “man listed as St James’ most wanted, Christopher Boyd, otherwise called ‘Plank’ of the Downtown Sparta Gang was taken into custody on July 30, 2020, following a targeted raid by teams from the JCF’s Specialized Operations and other units at a Guest House in the St Andrew Central Division.”
According to the statement, Boyd is a top-tier member of the Downtown Sparta Gang and is currently wanted for the murder of two men. “An eighteen-year-old female of a Flanker address, who was held in the company of Boyd, is presently in police custody,” the release said.
They added, “The JCF High Command is commending the various teams from St James, St Andrew Central, St Andrew North, Special Operations, C-TOC and the Jamaica Defence Force for their professionalism and resolute approach throughout the coordinated operations, which all ended without incident.”