Tommy Lee Sparta and his co-accused O’Brian Smith are back in court for their lottery scamming trial in the Supreme Court, downtown Kingston.
The latest update on the case is that Personal information about citizens from North America was at the center of testimony given during the Dancehall artist’s lottery scam trial in the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston on Thursday (Nov. 15).
Detective Corporal Campbell told prosecuting attorney Sophia Thomas that he examined evidence received from investigators, which included a laptop and a one terabyte external hard drive that contained the information on the foreign nationals. The hard drive and laptop were tendered into evidence as exhibits nine and 10, respectively.
“I found a partition on the hard drive called ‘Tommy Lee’. I observed two files in the trash folder. I viewed the contents and observed they contained names, addresses, city, state, zip, and phone numbers. It was North American numbers, based on the area code,” Campbell said.
Campbell told the court that both files contained 1,001 records each for persons living in California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and Orlando. He also revealed that the police found more than 5,500 records of personal information for people living abroad on the same computer.
The items were seized in February 2014 during a search of an apartment. Four suspects, including Tommy Lee, given name Leroy Russell, and his co-accused, O’Brian Smith, were held at the time.
Tommy Lee Sparta, whose real name is Leroy Russell, and three others were initially charged in February 2014 on suspicion of breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013.
However, no evidence was offered for two of the accused who were later released.
The men were charged after investigations stemming from a traffic stop led police to a Kingston 5 apartment, where lottery scam paraphernalia was seized.
During cross-examination, defence attorney Ernest Smith asked Campbell if he was assigned to the cyber unit at the time of the seizure.
“No, I was not,” he answered.
After further questioning, he also reportedly admitted that he was not a trained cybercrime officer in 2014 and that he took control of the exhibits in 2016. An ex-policeman named Lionel Hamilton was the individual at the cyber unit who was previously tasked to conduct a digital forensic examination of the files.
Campbell also told the court that he did not know who sealed the bags when evidence was taken from the suspects and he did not know when the bags were sealed.
However, he said that he knew the exhibits by their labels as well as the serial numbers on the devices, which are said to contain the personal information.
The trial is set to resume on Monday.
Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Sparta’s attorney Ernest Smith believes the entertainer and his co-accused will be exonerated in their lottery scamming trial.
The attorney expressed confidence that a no-case submission, if entered, would be upheld.
In Thursday’s hearing, Woman Constable Maxine Thomas, who said she was an integral part of the investigating team, said under cross-examination that Junior ‘Heavy D’ Fraser “told us that he rented the apartment on behalf of Mr Russell.”
“Why wasn’t that included in your statement?” Smith asked.
“I didn’t put it in my statement because I did not think it was relevant at the time,” she said.
“Didn’t Mr Russell deny ownership of everything found at the apartment?”the defense attorney further asked to which Thomas replied, “No, he did not sir.”
Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Mark Williams, who is the second witness, told the court that he observed another sergeant removing a laptop from behind a washing machine.
According to reports, the court was told that the four suspects were cautioned and asked to whom the laptop belonged.
“One of the accused said that ‘all of us use the laptop’, then Mr Smith went on to say he was the one who hid it behind the washing machine, hiding it from the children,” Williams said.
Under cross-examination, Williams admitted that a former police officer, Lionel Hamilton, had access to all the evidential material he handed over to the cyber-crime unit.
Williams also said that he has not seen the evidence since 2014.