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Witness details structure of MOB gang

Somerset gang Money Over Bitches (MOB) was the only one that refused to meet with Louis Farrakhan when he visited the Island, a witness told Supreme Court yesterday.

Randolph Lightbourne said he was working for anti-gang organisation CARTEL in 2009, and spoke to all the Island's gangs about Nation of Islam leader Rev Farrakhan's visit to the Island that year.

That included Money Over Bitches, which he described as a group of men from the Somerset area led by a man named Kenith Bulford, nicknamed Ethan.

He named other key figures in the gang as being Ashley Wellman and Quincy Brangman.

Mr Lightbourne told the court: “I knew everyone who hung in that area. I was very close with Ethan, the actual leader of MOB. Partly because I watched him grow up and the other part is I would talk to him at times abut the CARTEL organisation.

“That's an organisation that goes out trying to reach guys who are in the gangs to get [them] out.

Either it's [taking] them off the Island or safe houses [and] reaching out to the younger guys so they don't get into it.”

Mr Lightbourne said when Rev Farrakhan came to Bermuda: “He wanted to speak to all the gangs and gang leaders, and the MOB was the only gang who didn't want to meet.”

Mr Lightbourne was detailing MOB's activities in relation to an incident on July 23, 2010, where he was shot seven times outside the Charing Cross Tavern in Somerset.

He explained the gang attacks any rival on their turf, which stretches from Somerset Bridge to Dockyard. He told police after he was shot, that people in Somerset thought he was a “snitch” for MOB's rivals, the Parkside and Ord Road gangs.

Asked by prosecutor Carrington Mahoney to describe the MOB's activities, he replied: “Mainly drug selling. And if enemies were in the vicinity it was open season.”

Mr Lightbourne admitted having family members in the Parkside and Ord Road gangs, but said he was not in any gang himself.

Mr Bassett, 20, is now on trial on charges including attempting to murder Mr Lightbourne, which he denies. His defence lawyer, Marc Daniels, challenged allegations from Mr Lightbourne that Mr Bassett is in the MOB.

Asked by the prosecutor to further describe the way the gang operates, Mr Lightbourne said: “As we all know, the whole gang activity has escalated in terms of it being much more violent, much more organised and it called for a bigger commitment from those who was going to be associated. You always had to be seen to be 'down' and part of it. It's a street term for being loyal and committed.”

He described Mr Bassett as a “soldier” in the gang, which is structured like a military organisation, using soldiers to do whatever is asked of them.

Describing what it would take to move up through the ranks, he said: “Special favours, high-profile incidents. I mean shooting somebody, killing somebody, doing a hit on somebody who is an enemy of your gang. You get recognised for what you do, it's called putting time in.”

Mr Bassett denies the charges he faces, and the case continues.

Shooting victim Randolph Lightbourne leaves Supreme Court 3 after giving evidence against the alleged gunman, Marico Bassett.

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Published March 04, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated March 04, 2011 at 9:45 am)

Witness details structure of MOB gang

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