… weapons, weed, cell phones, wine among contrabands foundAs Government heightens security activities across the country following credible information of a potential domestic threat, the Joint Services conducted raids at the Georgetown and New Amsterdam Prisons, during which several contraband items were unearthed.Some of the contraband items recovered by the Joint Services during raids at the Georgetown and New Amsterdam PrisonsThis was disclosed in a release from the Ministry of the Presidency on Saturday. The joint exercise – ‘Operation Safe Guard’ – was conducted by ranks from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in collaboration with the Guyana Prison Service.Among the contraband items found and seized at the Georgetown Prison were 21 improvised weapons and knives, 20 razor blades, 558 grams of marijuana, 22 cellular phones and five gallons of homemade wine, along with a number of other banned items.However, a lesser number of items were found at the New Amsterdam Prison during the impromptu search exercise, which concluded sometime around 11:30h on Saturday at the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) penitentiary.In total, the raids unearthed 21 weapons, 22 cellular phones and eight phone chargers, as well as four phone batteries and five SIM cards, 558 grams marijuana along with a quantity of ziplock bags and bamboo wrapper, nine packets of cigarettes and 45 lighters, one arrow, two scissors, four grabber hooks, 20 razor blades, one tattoo machine, $300 and TT$200 in cash, and some five gallons of homemade whine.According to the statement from the Ministry of the Presidency, the security forces are concerned about the fact that the Georgetown Prison was last searched on September 23, 2016, which means that the contraband items accumulated in just under two months.Nevertheless, Government is assuring the public that it will continue to work closely with the Guyana Prison Service and the Joint Services to address on-going security weaknesses at the nation’s correctional facilities.“The Guyana Police Force, along with the Joint Services where necessary, will continue to scale up security activities in targeted areas to ensure the security of residents and visitors across Guyana as the country enters the holiday season and in light of the up tick in criminal activity. The Government of Guyana continues to urge citizens to cooperate with the security forces,” the statement from the Ministry detailed.In March, a similar raid at the Georgetown Prison resulted in one of the most deadly unrests in the country, causing the death of 17 inmates and injuring several others, including prison officers at the city penitentiary.Inmates on remand at the facility started to protest after prison officials seized several contraband items during a raid at the Capital A section on March 2, 2016. In retaliation, the prisoners started several fires that night and another the following morning, which turned out to be deadly.Then on March 4, 2016, angry inmates lashed out again, kicking out the entire wooden wall of one of the buildings located South in the compound. This behaviour prompted Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of State Joseph Harmon to meet with 18 prisoners who voiced their concerns about the living conditions in the Camp Street penitentiary.Government subsequently conducted a $13 million Commission of Inquiry into the prison unrests, which highlighted some of the main issues affecting the penal facility such as overcrowding and relapse into criminal behaviour after serving time.
Former Canyons quarterback Marcel Marquez is expected to commit to Sacramento State, a Division I-AA program. Another prominent area quarterback, Canyon High senior Austin Civita, has begun spring workouts at Glendale College, along with Canyon teammates Garrett Leary (defensive lineman), J.P Curvey (defensive back) and Leon Henderson (defensive back). Valencia High baseball coach Jared Snyder, a Saugus High product who played four minor-league seasons in the Chicago Cubs’ organization, plays softball for EAS Pollards, a prominent slow-pitch team that competes in national tournaments, most recently in Denver last weekend. “Can I hit home runs? Yes, but that’s about all I can do anymore,” said Snyder, who plays first base. “My wheels left me a long time ago. In fact, I don’t think I was ever born with them. It’s nice playing for this team because we’re sponsored, so I get to play for free.” Former Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone, of Santa Clarita, is donating 500 Dodgers tickets to the William S. Hart PONY baseball/softball league. The league is selling the tickets – for a May 24 game vs. Colorado – as a fund-raiser through Mercedez-Benz of Valencia. Malone is a co-partner with Dodgers assistant Eddie Murray and former Montclair Prep of Panorama City baseball standout Lenny Sage at the auto dealership. Rhonda Ripley has been hired as head coach for the Santa Clarita Knights, a local semipro football team. She takes over for Tim Brandon, the team’s founding owner, who plans to play quarterback this season. Ripley, a former Knights assistant, participated in girls’ basketball, track and wrestling at Lancaster High. She also worked as an assistant semipro football coach for the Antelope Valley Bombers in 2004. Gerry Gittelson’s column appears in the Daily News three times a week [email protected] (661) 257-5218160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsMorales, who is 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, caught 36 passes for 598 yards and two touchdowns to help Canyons (12-1) to the Southern California championship game last December. The previous season at Valencia, he set most of the school’s single-season and career reception records and was accorded Foothill League co-MVP honors as the Vikings reached the Southern Section Div. II final. He also was a top defensive back and punter. During his senior year in high school, several programs, including Nevada, Cal Poly and Northern Arizona, expressed interest but never tendered scholarship offers. At Oregon State, Morales has an opportunity to team with returning quarterback Matt Moore, a former Hart standout who transferred to the Beavers after two seasons at UCLA. Canyons assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Dean Herrington said Moore helped convince Oregon State coaches to recruit Morales. “We’re fired up,” Herrington said. “It hurts our team to lose Shane instead of having him for two years, but he’s such a good kid who has a chance to get out, and he deserves it. Snubbed a year ago by NCAA Division I college football recruiters despite a sensational high school career, Shane Morales has been granted redemption. Following a solid freshman season last fall as a receiver at College of the Canyons, Morales has committed to Oregon State. Assuming Morales’ transcripts are approved – a likely scenario, considering Morales is an honor student – Morales heads to Corvallis when this semester ends. He accepted an offer from defensive coordinator Mark Banker on Sunday night. “I’m pretty excited,” Morales said. “In fact, I’m very excited.”