How a cocaine theft resulted in 4 murders

POSTED: 02/9/12 1:18 PM

The Vesuvius-investigation

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – When Amador Jones stole ten bricks of cocaine with an estimated local value of $70,000 from Hector Miguel Arrindell last year he set off a dramatic series of events that resulted in four gangster style executions and two cases of attempted murder.
Miguel Hector Arrindell was the owner of the Cappuccino Bar in Simpson Bay and also one of the main suspects in the botched Snowflake-investigation that involved the transport of hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Colombia via St. Maarten to the Netherlands. He retaliated mobster- Ekron M., Omar J., Carlos R., Doniel Th. and Andrew dozens of witnesses, Jones was shot to death near the under the snack bar and car wash opposite the Jose Lake sr. Ballpark on the Gladiola Road.

The presentation by public prosecutors mrs. Gonda van der Wulp and Bart den Hartigh in court yesterday morning shows that Erno L. and Charles “Duduks” F. took their friend Amador Jones by car to the hospital, where he passed away shortly afterwards.
The police spoke with Duduks on the evening of the murder, and he told them: “Oggie got killed, now it is Amador. You all better find this man. If not, we will take care of it ourselves.”
Oggy is Eduardo Oggy Gumbs; he served 13 years in prison for a 2001 murder. When he came out of prison at age 39, it did not take long before he met his fate. On September 20, 2010, somebody shot Gumbs at three o’clock in the morning in his Jeep on Gardina Road. The murder was never solved.
F.’s statement to the police in the Amador Jones-investigation soon proved to be prophetic. Four days after the murder, there was a shooting on the A. Th. Illidge Road in Dutch Quarter near the former Tan Tan supermarket. A man called Kennedy Fergus was shot in his leg, and for some time it was thought that he was the man who pulled the trigger on Amador Jones. He told the police that Omar J., the victim’s brother, had gotten out of a car and started shooting with what looked like an M16-rifle.

Investigators later established that the real target of this shooting was a man called Max who was thought to be the Jones-killer. Seeking revenge for his brother’s death, Omar J. and others went looking for him and when they found him, the shooting erupted. But because Omar’s weapon malfunctioned and Max was wearing a bulletproof vest, the intended victim managed to escape.
Somehow Omar J. found out that Hector Miguel Arrindell had given the order for his brother’s killing. A bit more than a month after the Tan Tan shooting, on May 25 and one day before he was scheduled to appear in the Court in First Instance as a suspect in the Snowflake cocaine smuggling case, Hector Miguel Arrindell became the second victim in what would become the Vesuvius-investigation.
At a quarter to twelve in the morning Arrindell was liquidated on an open field near the El Reconcito Bar in Simpson Bay, a place where he let out his dogs every day. The killer fired four shots into Arrindell’s body.
The investigation showed, the prosecutors said, that Arrindell’s murder was in retaliation for the Amador Jones killing. The prosecutors quoted phone taps on which Brian Ch. tells Sheila S. three days after the Cappuccino Bar-owner’s death that Omar J. is crying every day for his brother. S. then says that “if things continue like this, nobody will be left.” Brian Ch.’s answer: “Well listen, in war someone got to win.”

Investigators suspect that Brian Ch. helped organize the Amador Jones murder. He is currently detained in Guadeloupe. St. Maarten will ask for his extradition. The suspected killer of Amador Jones (who was not identified in court yesterday) is detained in St. Kitts and the authorities there have already received an extradition-request.
The Arrindell-murder was recorded at the police as the Shakespeare-investigation. A couple of months later, they added the Rembrandt-investigation to their workload. In what resembled a gang-war, the prosecutors say, Rodolfo Arrindell – brother of Hector Miguel and also a suspect in the Snowflake-investigation – was shot to death on July 7 of last year around two o’clock at night after he returned to his home in Fort Willem. His girlfriend was with him in the car but she escaped the killers.
And it was not over yet: on the morning of August 17 Eric Lake told his wife that he has heard that Omar J. wants him dead. A couple of hours later he was executed together with Kevin Gumbs in bright daylight in front of Cats shopping center on Illidge Road. An innocent female passerby was hit by a bullet in her foot.

The police and the prosecutor’s office established a TGO, a large scale investigation team, and named it Vesuvius. The investigation was tedious because witnesses did not dare to make statements because they feared for their lives. In spite of this the analysts on the team managed to identify a number of suspects. On November 16 of last year it was party time: the seven suspects that appeared in court yesterday were all arrested. The Gendarmerie on the French side detained Kevin M. as suspect number eight.
Three suspects were almost immediately flown to prisons in Aruba and Curacao, because the investigation required that the suspects be kept apart. After the arrests, investigators obtained several witness statements as well as one statement from a threatened witness. Three others have been found willing to testify if their identities remain hidden.
Two of the suspects, Andrew D. and Charles F. have made incriminating statements about co-defendants.

During the investigation 17 firearms and 600 rounds of ammunition have been confiscated, along with bulletproof vests, wigs, masks, air guns and silencers. All weapons are currently at the Dutch forensic institute NFI for DNA-testing and ballistic examinations. House searches also netted almost $25,000 in cash.

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