Six months after kidnap, man killed in drug deal gone bad

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dennis Daniel Jugoon –

SIX months after Dennis Daniel Jugoon, 20, was kidnapped, a lone gunman ended his life at his home at Lezama Trace, St John’s Road, South Oropouche on June 1.

His elder brother Gary, 39, told Newsday he believes it was all part of a continuing saga involving a drug deal gone bad over a year ago.

In that incident, in May 2023, his cousin Adesh was ambushed and killed in his car on Belle Vue Road by occupants of another vehicle who opened fire on him.

His wife, who was with him, was not injured and drove to the nearby police station.

Gary said while his brother was never arrested or charged, he reluctantly wants to believe he was involved in the drug trade, which ended his life on June 1.

Gary said he and his son, Rommel, 19 at the time, were also shot and injured last year, but that was unrelated to this incident.

“I wasn’t part of that, but I still get shoot, you understand. People feel because we are family, we all associated with the same thing. I not in that.

“I work hard, hustling here and there, selling mangoes, oranges and a few market things on the road right here. I spend all my money building my house,” he said, pointing to his flat, unfinished concrete structure.

“I got shot, my son got shot, my cousin (Adesh Ramrattan) get killed and now my brother. This all started with a drug deal gone bad with my cousin, who was doing something he should not do.

“I don’t want to believe my brother was part of it, but all this…shooting could be lining up to the same scene.”

He said he was now fearful for his life.

Gary said after the death of both parents, his brother dropped out of high school and developed a love for the sea.

In December 2023, while on a fishing expedition with four other men at Mosquito Creek, they were kidnapped by Venezuelans, who took them to Venezuela.

He said a ransom of $25,000 was demanded, but no money was paid and he was released after a month.

He said Jugoon had no permanent job and lived close by in a three-bedroom house his mother had left him. He became afraid of living alone and moved into a small makeshift home next to Gary’s home, where he was shot and killed.

“After my son and I got shot, he left and went to live in Tobago to avoid any problems. With no friends and family across there, he came back here so he could be close to me.”

He said Jugoon went to Chaguaramas for a sailing expedition in the morning on June 1 and returned late that night.

“He came by me, take a little smoke, went by one of my cousins nearby to drop some snacks and walked back home.”

On the way, Jugoon told the person who accompanied him he had heard something.

Gary Jugoon speaks with the media on June 2 after his brother Dennis was shot and killed on June 1. The shooting took place outside their home at Lezama Street, St John’s Village, South Oropouche. – Photo by Yvonne Webb

“He turned back but saw nothing. When he got to his door, the gunman came out of the bushes and just fired shots at him.

“People say it was about four shots.

“I did not hear anything, because I drink real puncheon. My girl and I going through a little issue and I real hit it out with some alcohol, trying to forget.

“I left him 20 minutes before and quarrelled with him about some small thing. I went into my house, lie down and knock out.”

After the shots were heard, he said a friend who was asleep on his couch woke him up to go outside after he heard the commotion and a woman bawling.

“I don’t know why someone wanted to kill him. The gunman came for him. My house has no door, and he could have come and killed me too, but they wanted Dennis dead.”

He said after killing Jugoon, the gunman simply put the gun in his waist and walked away. His face was uncovered.

Gary said he does not believe police would arrest or charge anyone in this incident, as they have not done so in the previous killing and shooting incidents.

“Police only come here when I have a bacchanal with my girl. They come with jeeps and big guns.

“On Saturday night a man and a woman came and then another jeep with one police. They just come to pick up the dead body.”

Police found one 9mm spent shell casing and a black Samsung cellphone. No motive has been established for the killing.

Wpc Rampersad is continuing enquiries.