Caribbean Troops, Local Police Guard Jail, Six Escapees Still At Large
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (AP) _ Soldiers guarded government officials’ homes and strategic sites Sunday in the aftermath of a prison riot set off by the release of the deputy prime minister’s sons, who were being held on drug charges.
More than 100 prisoners broke out during the riot and fire Friday at the Caribbean island’s only jail. Six remained at large Sunday, but deputy commissioner Felix Hodge said they weren’t considered dangerous.
The riot began an hour after Dean Morris, 38, was released on $101,000 bail. He was charged with weapons possession and conspiring to sell cocaine.
Dave Morris, 27, was released on $3,000 bail Thursday on weapons possession charges. Both are sons of Deputy Prime Minister Sidney Morris.
Bail is rarely granted on drug and firearms charges, and the decision to free them also prompted protests outside the prison.
A third brother, Vincent, 36, who was implicated in the drug charges against Dean, has been missing with his girlfriend, Joan Walsh, 35, since Oct. 1. Police said they believe they found their bodies in a burned-out car in a sugar cane field on Saturday. An autopsy was pending.
Police have linked the brothers’ arrest to the slaying Oct. 13 of police official Jude Matthew, who was investigating the disappearance.
Scotland Yard superintendent Alec Ross said investigators found cocaine in a home the three brothers shared, hidden on a nearby beach and buried on a nearby farm. They are investigating links to a large cocaine shipment to the island.
Meanwhile, 45 soldiers from Barbados and the Barbados-based Regional Security Forces arrived Saturday to help police guard the prison as well as the homes of government officials, the airport and radio and television stations.
St. Kitts and Nevis, about 200 miles east of Puerto Rico, is the Western Hemisphere’s smallest nation with 40,000 people. It has a police force of about 300 and no soldiers.