Police find ganja, plants at site of highway triple homicide By Samantha Alleyne

Stabroek News

September 6, 2003

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The shooting death of three men at Swan on the Linden highway earlier this week could have been drug related since the police have found a quantity of marijuana in the camp where the bodies were found.

The bodies were found in a swampy area about five miles off the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.

The police yesterday said that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the bodies at around 11:30 am on Thursday by a relative of the deceased.

Dead are Daniel Marcus, 41, of Cinderella City, Linden, Richard Thomas, 33, a farmer of 164 Smythfield, New Amsterdam and another man only identified as `Dandy’ about 5’ 7” and with a dark complexion. Stabroek News understands that the unidentified man was a Jamaican and Thomas and Marcus were his employees.

The police release said that Thomas was a Public Health Inspector who was on suspension relative to a narcotics-related charge before the court.

It said that Dandy and Marcus were found lying on the floor of the camp while Thomas was lying in a hammock. The camp was covered with a tarpaulin.

According to the police release, inside the camp were 10 bags of compressed marijuana weighing approximately 700 1bs, one bag with 10 lbs of cannabis seeds, a 12 gauge spent cartridge, one small 6” television set, a small scale and a grass-cutting machine.

The release also said that numerous cannabis sativa plants were also observed being cultivated around the camp while a short distance away six plots of about 8,500 cannabis sativa plants of varying height were discovered.

Additionally, another camp was found about two rods from the scene with 400 lbs of compressed marijuana, 8 lbs of seed and a nursery with 30 plants about two to three inches tall.

Stabroek News visited the area yesterday and learnt that it is populated with about ten families with several children.

Yesterday, a police officer said that they had received reports about a shooting but when they visited the area they were not given any information.

It was Thursday evening when a man visited the Kuru Kuru Police Station and made the report. He was taken into custody to assist in the investigation.

Four police vehicles filled with armed officers went into the area yesterday morning and it was around 1:00 pm that they came out with the bodies. In one of the police vehicles Stabroek News observed some tall cannabis plants.

Thomas’s family was in the area yesterday although they did not reach the spot where the bodies were found, since their car got stuck at a certain point.

The family refused to speak to this newspaper, only stating that the father of six had left home a few days ago and that they had received the news of his death by telephone.

According to reports the three men had a farm in the area but the second farm was located about four miles from where the other residents are located. It was at this farm they were reportedly killed.

It was learnt that a man had bought “something” from the men earlier in the week and had returned to make some more purchases when he came upon the bodies. It is suspected that it was this man who reported the killings. Residents in the area said that they had not heard any gunshots, adding that they would not have heard them as the men’s bodies were found deep in the savannah area.

It is suspected that the men were killed around Tuesday and since then word had gotten around the area but no one had reported the incident.

Stabroek News was told that all but one of the families vacated their homes after learning about the shooting fearing for their lives.

It is understood that three strange men were seen in the area up to yesterday, a rastafarian, one with braided hair and another with close-cropped hair. The police have since launched a search for these men who might have been involved in the shooting.

Further reports stated that these three were seen removing things from the farm of the victims early yesterday morning, even as the area was crawling with police officers, but they disappeared into the bushy area.

According to one man, the residents were very peaceful people and none of them would have killed the three men. “It had to be some strange body do dah; Rasta don’t deh pon dem things.” It was reported that a white Toyota car without number plates was seen in the area on Thursday evening and it only moved after a licensed firearm holder fired off shots.

The man said that they all worshipped at the “Nyabingi Tabernacle” and were a close-knit community.

However, he said that since the killing he is not sure how many families were going to return. The man was also contemplating leaving for a while, but he was worried about his farm which would be unattended.

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