Former Guyana Police spy chief, ‘Beetle’, found dead in US home

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 July 2017, 15:33 by Denis Chabrol

Former Guyana Police Force spy chief, Retired Assistant Commissioner, James Mentore has been found dead in his home in New Jersey, United States, an official of an association of former Guyanese police said Sunday.

He was 85 years old.

Mentore’s daughter, who is in Guyana, on Sunday declined to comment about the passing of her father who was a former Head of the Police Force’s Special Branch, the intelligence arm of that law enforcement agency.

However, the President of the Guyana Ex-Police Association of America Inc; Leroy Charles told Demerara Waves Online News that Mentore’s partly decomposed body was found in his New Jersey home on Monday, July 17, 2017.

Charles said no foul play was suspected in the death of Mentore who was ill and lived alone.

The Association President said he was told that the deceased senior police officer’s daughter last spoke with Mentore on July 11, 2017, but when she called again the following day she received no answer.

Mentore was fired in 1980 for allegedly leaking information to then political opposition after being at the helm of the Special Branch  for 12 years. The former spy chief’s name was also mentioned in the recent Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry  by one of the witnesses that he had provided information to Walter Rodney who was later assassinated on June 13, 1980.

During the Rodney Commission of Inquiry a huge chunk of police intelligence files related to that period had been reported missing.

A Wikileaks release of a United States government secret cable names Mentore in dealing with Jim Jones’ Jonestown Cult in north-western Guyana.

The Cable, dated April 1, 1977, had noted that the then Guyana government was concerned that the group might have been smuggling foodstuffs into Guyana and “Mentore has suggested the need to establish a police outpost in the region.”

At that time, the Cable had noted that Mentore had indicated that the delay in the arrival of 380 persons for Jonestown would have given Guyana embassy official in Washington, Claude Worrell time to check their backgrounds with police in California and then forward that information to Guyana