Berbice police on Saturday arrested a notorious wanted man who was on the run since last October following a murder committed up the Canje River.
They held him at a back track crossing on the Corentyne. At the time of his arrest the man was found with a quantity of narcotics.
He has since been remanded. That happened when he appeared before Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo at the Reliance Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, on charges of being in possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking, for being in possession of two kilograms of cocaine and for being in Possession of 600 grams of cannabis.
The man Rickford La Fleur called Rickford Williams or Rickford Sabola, Bragga or Rastaman, 35, hails from Smithfield and the Canje River. When he was arrested he had given his address as Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara.
According to Prosecutor Corporal Orin Joseph, the police, around 15:00hrs acting on information, swooped down on the Shemeera Gog Backtrack crossing at No 78 Village on the Upper Corentyne and arrested four persons who were waiting to cross.
A search of one of a black plastic bag which La Fleur had in his possession unearthed the cocaine and the 600 grams of cannabis.
When he was caught La Fleur reportedly told investigators, “Ow man; it was just a hustle”.
It was after he was taken to the station and profiled that investigators realised that they had nabbed a notorious wanted man.
La Fleur along with the three other persons were all taken into custody. Further investigation resulted in the wanted man being charged with the drug offence.
He and two of those arrested gave their address as Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara while the other had given his address as Georgetown.
The group had included a man, his reputed wife and 14-year-old son.
While in custody the police realised that they had arrested a man whom they had been seeking for murder.
He was wanted for the murder of Cleveland Hetmeyer, called ‘Water Dog’, 33, of High Dam, Angoy’s Avenue.
Hetmeyer was shot to death reportedly during a confrontation with the suspect and another man at an area called Silverballi Gutter, some 90 miles up the Canje River. The victim’s body with bullet wounds to the leg and ribcage was recovered in a boat floating in the Canje River.
Yesterday, at the Reliance Magistrate court before Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo, he was asked to answer the charge of murder and was remanded to prison.
This case has been transferred to the New Amsterdam magistrate court for April 7, next, his birthday.
Hetmeyer a wood cutter had lived alone. The man had left his home and traveled up the Canje River where he plies his trade cutting wood.
The man who had owned his own boat had left with four others, Alfred Henry, called Buck Boy, Anthony Blair, 23, called Horse Man, Sherwin Thomas, 13, and Henry’s five-year-old son
Hetmeyer had left to go up the river upon a request from Henry to help dismantle his house and transport it to the coast. They had also gone to cut wood upon orders they had received. Henry had taken his boat (a punt) along on the trip.
Hetmeyer and Henry had also confided in relatives that he was having some problems with some people in the river who were destroying his crops and giving him a hard time.
A Post Mortem examination conducted on the body at the New Amsterdam Hospital revealed that he died from hemorrhage and shock due to gunshot wounds.
It is understood that on the day of the incident, Hetmeyer was in his boat which was moored in the Canje River, while the five-year-old was in his father’s punt, when the two men approached in another boat and demand of Hetmeyer that he lend them his boat. Hetmeyer refused and an argument ensued after which one of the men took a shotgun and blasted him.
The man had begged for his life and hopped into the punt which was moored nearby, when the other gunman shot him in his side.
They then threatened to kill the others, but these had already fled into the dense vegetation nearby. The gunmen then stole the victim’s boat, engine and food supplies and fled, leaving their boat behind and the mortally wounded man in Henry’s punt.
Led by Henry who had to carry his five-year-old son, the men walked for some nine hours through the dense jungle to the Berbice River waterfront where they reported the matter.
Police from New Amsterdam subsequently went in and retrieved the body.It was reported that the men who are part of a notorious gang has been creating havoc in the Canje River.
“They don’t work, they just roam the area, beating up people and take away their produce. Police had stated that they were requesting the help of a helicopter to scour the area and help in the arrest of the notorious wanted men.
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