Resistance gang threatens to kill cops after 4 members slain in raid

Officers of a specialised unit returns from Upper St Michael Road, off St John's Road, St Augustine after four men were shot dead during an alleged gun battle on May 23. - Photo by Roger Jacob
Officers of a specialised unit returns from Upper St Michael Road, off St John's Road, St Augustine after four men were shot dead during an alleged gun battle on May 23. - Photo by Roger Jacob

THE leader of the violent Resistance gang, who is incarcerated at the Maximum Security Prison, in Arouca, has declared war on the police after four of its alleged members were killed on May 23 during an alleged firefight in the hills of St Augustine.

A post circulating on social media, which has been verified by national security sources as a message from the gang leader, said the police previously killed “Hammers Hot” and “Pitchy” and recently killed Bev, Bounty, Doe and an innocent person. He threatened the lives of the officers and their family members.

The post said its members would stop killing members of rival gangs and train their guns on the police instead.

Police said the Resistance gang is suspected of having been responsible for several murders over the years, including the spate of murders at Trainline, St Augustine, in 2023 that left seven people dead and others injured. It is also involved in kidnappings and extorting business owners in Central Trinidad.

Christopher "John Doe" Noriega, 27, Akeem "Scheme" Punnette, 19, Tevon "Beaver" Maynard and Joshua "Bounty Killer" Allen were killed during an alleged shootout in a forested area, known as "The Zone," at Upper St Michael Road, off St John's Road, in St Augustine.

Police said the official identification of the dead men would be done on May 27 at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.

The men were linked to the kidnapping of doubles vendor Anisha Hosein, 27, of Maracas, St Joseph, who was snatched on May 18, at her businessplace in El Dorado. She was released on May 22, near the Caroni Cremation Site. A ransom had been demanded for her release but police did not disclose whether a ransom was paid.

Christopher Noriega. -

Members of the Inter-Agency Operational Unit were investigating the kidnapping by armed men. Hosein was forced into a silver Nissan B15 at gunpoint and her husband was grazed by a bullet while trying to stop the kidnappers. The getaway car was found abandoned at Lluengo Village, Maracas, St Joseph, hours after Hosein was kidnapped.

Police got a break after they arrested a suspect near the area where the car was abandoned and during his interrogation he provided key information which led officers to the campsite in the hills near Mt St Benedict monastery.

The police operation took place hours after she was found. An automatic rifle and a pistol were recovered after the men were killed.

Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Intelligence and Investigations Suzette Martin told Newsday, "The threat will be taken seriously and will be investigated and treated with accordingly."

One senior police officer said law enforcement could only act responsibly by first verifying who the threat came from and then deciding how to deal with it.

"We can not be driven by emotions. We can not be driven by fear. We always have to act within the realm of the law."

President of the Police Social and Welfare Association ASP Gideon Dickson said the threat was "ill-advised" and called on any group or person with illegal weapons and criminal intent to put down the guns and rethink their position.

"There are lots of opportunities for young people to learn, earn and contribute to civic society. We strongly advise this be done.

"Police have taken an oath to protect and serve this country and we will do so within the parameters of the law and our use of force policy. We will not be intimidated nor cower in our pursuit to ensure every community is safe. We live by our choices.

"Choose wisely is our advice to the young and impressionable."

A woman screams in agony after police shot and killed four men during an operation at Upper St Michael Road, off St John's Road, St Augustine, on May 23. - Photo by Roger Jacob

Noriega and his cousin Brent Walcott were arrested as suspects in the deadly robbery outside Pennywise Plaza, La Romaine on September 19, 2022, and were out on $3 million bail each. They skipped bail and had been on the run. Walcott was arrested during a police raid in July 2023, in Maracas, St Joseph.

During the robbery two security guards, Jeffrey Peters and Jerry Stuart, were killed and another critically injured.

Six suspects escaped but four of them, Kyle Ramdhan, Keyon Ramdhan, Greg Dodough and Deaundre Montrose, were killed by the police at a house in La Romaine.

Walcott and Noriega, who were later held in a police exercise, were charged with possession of two AR-15 riffles, three magazines and 38 rounds of ammunition for trafficking. Two men were charged with the murder of the guards – soldier Ishmael Salaam, of Fyzabad and Kemo Mc Sween, 26, of Union Hall, San Fernando.

This is not the first time the Resistance gang leader has threatened the police.

On October 2, 2023, the gang leader issued threats to officers on social media after his members Junior Perreira, aka Jason Charles, and Mudada “Fire” Cyrus were shot dead by police that same day during an exercise in Lluengo Village, Maracas, St Joseph.

The police said Cyrus and Pereira shot at officers during a police raid around 5 am. The police fired back and both Cyrus and Pereira died at the scene. Two pistols were recovered.

Police are also investigating a video shared on social media which appeared to threaten the life of deputy commissioner of prisons Carlos Corraspe.

In a video post, three rifles could be seen on a table and on top of them a single sheet of paper with "Carlos Corraspe. 25.05.2024. Don’t Play" handwritten in pencil.

Tevon Maynard. -

Commissioner of Prisons Deopersad Ramoutar said he was unsure of the origins of the threats and he had no information about them.

A senior officer took offence at the threat.

"A pothound is baddest when he is in his yard protected by a fence but when he’s out on the road he puts his tail between his legs," the officer said.

Under Section 30 of the Offences Against the Person Act, threats are an offence and would be investigated, the officer said.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds told Newsday he was "engaged" and asked to be contacted later. Hinds did not respond to further calls or WhatsApp messages.


"Resistance gang threatens to kill cops after 4 members slain in raid"

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