COP commends officers for dangerous fugitive capture

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley has commended his men of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force for their quick response in apprehending a dangerous criminal who illegally entered St. Kitts and Nevis last weekend.

Kathron Fortune, a citizen of Grenada who resides in St. Maarten and is wanted in that country, was suspected to be involved with a number of murders and escaped from prison in February. He was captured by a patrol of officers from Police District “B” in St. Kitts July 29 when the officers responded to the sighting of unusual activity along the coastline in Cranstoun Bay, an area in the vicinity of Newton Ground.

According to a police communique, initial investigations determined that the person detained had illegally entered the federation, and had in his possession a high-powered rifle and scope, a bulletproof vest, a backpack containing a quantity of cured marijuana, hashish (a marijuana derivative) and a sum of United States currency.

He was arrested, formally charged and cautioned for possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was also charged with entering the federation illegally, possession of marijuana and possession with intent to supply. Other charges may be laid as the investigation continues.

Queeley hailed the officers in Division B for their swift response that led to the capture of this fugitive and credited the increased police presence for assisting the capture.

“The swift response was part of the ongoing efforts of the police,” he said, “and you would have recognized in recent times we have upped the tempo in terms of vigilance and presence federation wide.”

He also indicated that this incident serves as a reminder how easily the borders in the federation are breached.

“The patrols were in and around the area and that information was acted upon swiftly,” he said. “It also underscores how porous our borders are and how easy [people] can access our borders. It is from that perspective that we can say here that we have already have discussions with the government on measures that we will put in place to assist in that regard.”

Queeley described Fortune as a very dangerous individual who had in his possession a calibre firearm as well as a bulletproof vest compressed with marijuana as well as cash.

“This gentle man is very dangerous criminal,” he said. “He was born in Grenada [who] has been living in St. Maarten for a very long time, and when we contacted the authorities in St. Maarten, they were upbeat that we were able to lay hands on him as he escaped prison serving time for murder. During the time he has been out, he is suspected to be involved in at least five other murders.”

Queeley further disclosed that a team from St. Maarten visited St. Kitts and held discussions with local authorities before leaving the federation.

“The gentleman is remanded at Her Majesty’s Prison and is charged with a number of offences from the possession of the firearm, importation, and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, illegal entry and, of course, customs charges will follow.”

He noted that due process will take its course and Fortune is expected to appear in the magistrate’s court shortly to answer the charges laid against him

“We want to commend the public for continuing to show interest in terms of advancing our fight against crime,” Queeley said, “and we are very happy to have assisted in having this very dangerous criminal off the streets.”

The commissioner said that the firearm in Fortune’s possession was the 30th firearm confiscated by police this year.