Sub machine guns in Silver Lake
Armed police visit Silver Lake twice last weekend
As the midday sun blazed on Friday morning police officers dressed in army fatigue and armed to the teeth with sub machine guns entered the Roseau Valley hamlet of Silver Lake. They were not welcomed.
A young man who was walking away from the tense scene, dreadlocks hanging to his shoulders, said disapprovingly that it was the same old story: police and drugs and guns and angry residents.
Other residents of Silver Lake were not as indifferent.
A pregnant young woman wearing a dress many sizes too small for her condition stood a few yards away from the small crowd. She was angry.
Another young woman showed SUN reporters a spent cartridge that a police officer allegedly fired.
She said : "Look it, look it; they just come firing their guns."
It was obvious that the residents of Silver Lake did not welcome the police on Friday morning. As the officers left in pickup vans, taking along one young man in hand cuffs, residents jeered.
Apparently, the police paid another visit to Silver Lake the following day, Saturday, in search of drugs.
At a press conference today Monday officers said they conducted the search on February 20 at 6:00 am and members of the Drug Squad, Task Force and SSU seized cocaine, cannabis, firearms and ammunition.
The police say they found the items in a locked room of the Silver Lake public convenience.
According to the head of Drug Squad, Inspector John Carbon the items the officers found were: "one AK 47 rifle, one Uzi submachine gun, two nine millimetre pistols, twenty-four rounds of 40 calibre ammunition, thirty rounds of 9 millimetre ammunition, one magazine for an AK 47 riffle, one magazine for an Uzi sub machine gun, three magazines for 9 millimetre pistols."
The police also discovered 2.135 kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $57,000 and 2.043 kg of cannabis valued at $4,500.
Meanwhile, Inspector Richmond Valentine said that over the years the circulation of illegal firearms has been a major concern to the government and the Dominica Police Force.
"When the Firearm Act of 2011 No. 3 was enacted provisions were made for increased fines and stiffer penalties and Government continues to provide resources which directly influence the efforts of the police towards the removal of firearms from the streets," said Valentine.
He added that in 2010 the Police Force established the Task Force Unit whose mandate along with other functions were to intercept illegal firearms and arrest the owners of these weapons.
Valentine said that the police has had significant success.
"We have noticed that owners of the illegal firearm are becoming more brazen as they engage in irresponsible and callous behaviour involving the use of those firearms," Valentine said.
No one has been charged for the arms and ammunition that the police discovered.