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#502110 - 03/12/15 06:01 AM Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town
Marty Offline

An intense sweep of San Pedro Town has resulted in multiple arrests for criminal offenses ranging from drug trafficking and firearm possession to attempted murder. The crackdown led to the detention of twenty-one-year-old Deshawn Goff, who has since been charged for the Attempted Murder of thirteen-year-old Meredith Escalante. The minor was shot to the left side of the chest inside her home at the Espat Apartments on February eleventh while preparing for supper. Goff has additionally been charged with Dangerous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm. It is widely believed that the intended target of that shooting was Rolando Espat Senior, who resides in an apartment next door. While no further connection has been established, Espat’s single-room abode came under attack almost two weeks later when gunshots rang out in the early hours of February twenty-fourth. His wife and two-year-old son were both injured during the incident; the toddler perishing while receiving medical attention at the polyclinic. To date that case remains open.

10 Charged for Firearm Offences in San Pedro

Elsewhere during the recent police offensive, a raid on the residence of another notorious San Pedrano family yielded an unlicensed firearm and eight rounds of matching ammunition.  Fifty-one-year-old Peter Moses Hernandez, also known as Campos, and nine others, all of a San Juan Area address, have been arrested and charged jointly for the offenses of kept firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license.  Arraigned were twenty-six-year-old Marciana Campos, twenty-three-year-old Teresita Cordova, forty-eight-year-old Guadalupe Gonzalez, forty-two-year-old Victor Vasquez, fifty-two-year-old John Arana, thirty-year-old Michael Edwards, twenty-seven-year-old Juan Gomez, Laura Trapp and twenty-five-year-old Pedro Campos.  Today, the group was brought to Belize City via a one-thirty Caye Caulker Water Taxi that arrived just before three p.m. at the terminal on North Front Street. They were escorted by GSU officers into a police van and several GSU pickup trucks and taken to the Central Prison in Hattieville. Their arraignment succeeded a search of their home during ongoing drug operations by GSU officers and San Pedro Police on the island. A point twenty-two Taurus brand pistol, along with a cartridge containing eight rounds of Fiocchi brand ammunition were confiscated at the house.  Also found was a small box containing fifteen live rounds of Fiocchi brand ammo.

Channel 5

#502153 - 03/12/15 10:02 PM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
seaglass Offline
San Pedro was on the list! Very disappointing.....hopefully this will be taken seriously, and "clean-up" will continue

#502160 - 03/13/15 05:49 AM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

San Pedro Sweep

Last night, we told you about the police sweep in San Pedro in which an entire family was busted with a gun. Well, that was just part of a wider operation which went for 5 days from last week Friday, all the way up until Tuesday.

Among many other arrests, police conducted a search at the residence of 30 year-old Alex Salazar of the DFC Area. Police found almost one kilo of marijuana, 993.3 grams - or 2.18 pounds. He was arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

On Tuesday night, just before 11 o'clock, a team of officers searched the residence of 23 year-old Marlon Chanek. He was present at the time with a 17 year-old male minor when the officers found 2 zip lock plastic bags and a black plastic bag all containing, 2.8 kilos - or 6.1 pounds - of marijuana. They were both arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

San Ignacio Police also made a significant seizure on Tuesday afternoon at around 3 o'clock. Officers from that formation intercepted a Geo Prizm car taxi licenses plates. 28 year-old Belize City resident Merikita Castillo was inside, and she had a bag in her possession. When the officers searched it, they found 2.04kilos or 4 and a half pounds of marijuana. She was then arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

Channel 7

#502162 - 03/13/15 05:55 AM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

San Pedro Family Remanded

In response to a flare-up of violence in San Pedro which Police believe is directly connected to drug rivals warring, special units have descended on the tourism mecca. One early casualty of the crackdown is the Campos/Hernandez family which is believed to be one of the warring factions. On Wednesday, a special unit of San Pedro Police and Gang Suppression Unit personnel searched the family home, found a weapon and ammunition and arrested ten persons found there at the time. They were transported to Belize City in handcuffs via a Caye Caulker Water Taxi and were shuttled by a police van to the Central Prison in Hattieville. It’s an effective method of bringing some peace to the troubled island, at least for a time, but attorney Oscar Salgado says he won’t stand for it.

Oscar Salgado

Oscar Salgado, Attorney for Campos Family

“I went out to San Pedro on Wednesday having been summoned by my clients the Campos and Hernandez family, where Broaster again descended like an angel upon San Pedro with the intent of ridding San Pedro of all its criminal element and he went to my clients’ home in which he conducted, him and his gang, conducted a search without carrying out the proper procedures. That is they did not invite my clients to accompany them at every step of the way, searching each room methodically. My clients were put outside on the verandah to wait, while the head of the household, Moses Campos, was taken inside the house and made to sit inside a room…and Broaster proceeded along with his gang to search the house, having him inside a bedroom. Inside the hall inside a child’s schoolbag was found a point two-two weapon along with ammunition, where members of the family saw the Police planting it there. These people were taken before the Magistrate on Wednesday. A person that was inside plead guilty to the offence as charged. He took responsibility for it. Yet the Magistrate in her wisdom did not see it fit to discharge the others of the allegation and release them back into the public. They adjourned the matter until the sixteenth of April. I was told that I had to speak to the Director of Public Prosecutions, which I did. And the D.P.P. has informed me today that the proper route is to go to the Police and ask the Police to withdraw the charge because one person has already pled guilty, to withdraw the charge against the others. I have spoken to the Deputy Commissioner and I am told that will not happen.”

Salgado claims that through the media, he is appealing to the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police to intercede.

Channel 5

Residents Allege Police Brutality

Diego Wade

Diego Wade is another San Pedro resident who says he barely survived a meeting with the infamous Gang Suppression Unit earlier this week, and at one point thought they would kill him. Both Wade and Allen are being represented by Attorney Oscar Salgado who says that he is fed up of the constitution being flouted by police. Wade, still bearing the bruises from his encounter, spoke to us today.

Diego Wade, Alleges Police Brutality

“Monday, I just gawn da the football field da DFC gawn play some football. And after the football game, night deh set in, so when I deh look fu goh the GSU deh reach…lone masked man and only me one inna di field, so when they meet me I mi deh without shirt, and they bally just come and tell me lay down and start beat me up, yu know, noh find no gun and thing. Then they bring wah next bally weh they mi bring and beat up, so afterwards they ker me inna di bush, put gun pon me, whap up me with gun, I all bruise up with gun, all my ribs, kick up me, put bag on my head, handcuff me, bend my back, stand up pon my back, all kinda thing they do me. I mi feel like I mi wah dead, yu know, that da the way I see it cause they ker me way inna di bush, deep inna di bush, me and wah next bally and put gun inna fu we mouth and head.”

Oscar Salgado

Oscar Salgado, Attorney for Wade and Allen

“In the case of Mr. Wade, Mr. Wade came before me and he showed me explicitly graphic scenes on his body where he was gun-butted in his head, on his chest where he was bruised, in his back…again all this because the Commissioner of Police sent Senior Superintendent Broaster to San Pedro to clean the island. I am all for law and order. I spent eighteen years of my life in the Belize Defence Force as an officer. When I was an officer walking with a pip on my shoulder the Commissioner was an officer cadet. He was not a commissioned officer. He was a junior officer to me. Mr. Broaster was a Corporal, and I know the modus operandi of the Police, so I know that this is the way the Police operate. I am saying this because this is the third time I have to be in front of the media in the last two months crying about the Police’s brutality and the Police modus operandi in the way they carry on operations, totally disregarding the constitutional provisions for the right and safety of the public. It is good that we deter crime, but crime has to be deterred in a civilized way.”

Salgado says that he will now take both men to the Professional Standards Branch of the police to make a formal complaint.

San Pedro Police Crackdown

Irma Mejia

As we told you earlier, there is a major crackdown underway in San Pedro Town, necessitated by violent crime which even resulted in the brutal murder of a two year old boy. Because things seem out of control, the police are fighting fire with fire, and already the complaints are pouring in. Today, Irma Mejia and her boyfriend, Dwayne Allen, visited our studios to say that they are being targeted by the police in San Pedro, and they want it to step. Both have had separate unpleasant sessions with the police.

Irma Mejia, Girlfriend of Dwayne Allen

“My boyfriend neva deh round da day deh and well they come and they come see he but he midi work with the minister da day because of elections right, and then di baby deh upstairs and I deh cook and they haul me down stairs and the stove stay on, and then the baby deh upstairs deh cry and they noh want me tend to my kid yu know. They ask me how much money I have. They actually ask me how much money I have and I tell them I noh have no money because I dah wah hard working person. I stay home, cook, tend to kids meanwhile my bwoy go work. We daw ah regular normal family. We just deh try do life.”


“But they never rough you up at all?”

Irma Mejia

“Yes, they mi tek me down and they chase me with wah broomstick. They actually tek off my broomstick and wah whap me with it because I wah go upstairs go tend to my child cause ih deh cry and they no wah let me up, so I deh try walk lef they and go tend to my child and out di stove cause the things could burn, yu know.”

Dwayne Allen

Dwayne Allen, Alleges Police Brutality

“Police visited my place and he ask me weh I gat fu he. So I tell ah I no gat nothing fu you. So he tek my money out of my pocket and he start count it. and then he just hold the money too and push it inna my pocket afterwards. And then they just beat me bad. From deh soh di man ker me inna wah cart inna soh mangrove back by Coca-Cola factory. He handcuff me backway an ih siddown pon my belly. He tek my shirt and put it over my face and tek water and splash it up and suffocate me, stifle me. And from deh soh when I get up back I find di Police Officer with my money inna fu he hand again, the second time they tek out the money outta my pocket…when they midi try stifle me. So di man seh mek I ker they da my gial house. Soh I ker di man da my gial house and show he dat we noh have nothing deh, and when we reach da the house he start whap me up inna my head with wah broomstick. And then di man just gawn ih own way, dash me pon di street side and just left me deh with no charge or nothing.”

Channel 5

#502196 - 03/14/15 01:41 AM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Chris Offline
oh God, the "My boys wouldn't hurt a fly" crowd are out in force and with attorneys like Mr. Salgado to protect them the gig will soon be up for Ambergris Caye as the island becomes more infested with thieves, drugs and murderers.

#502197 - 03/14/15 02:17 AM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Gaz Cooper Offline
Don't expect the bad guys to be happy about the Police spoiling there reign over the island and now they will try every trick in the book to get out of the charges.

If the Police were smart they would be video taping all the raids and doing the searches etc BY THE BOOK backed up with video evidence of correct Police procedures being followed at every step.

Most cases are thrown out because Police procedure was not followed and the lawyers will jump right on that so the Police have to do their job professionally and with transparency and that can easily be done by having a videographer follow them on raids

Edited by Gaz Cooper (03/14/15 02:30 AM)

#502214 - 03/14/15 08:02 AM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Gaz Cooper]
Mike Campbell Offline
And no one has the slightest concern over the allegations that the gun was planted and people that have not been found guilty of any crime are imprisoned. Our constitution is toilet paper. Wake up.
The gun controversy is easy one. Check the fingerprints on the gun. Our magar forensics can do that. The police are proven liars and criminals unlike those they accuse. How anyone in their right mind can think that conducting war on weed will help the crime situation is difficult to understand. Please explain.

#502220 - 03/14/15 02:42 PM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
tahunt Offline
I don't think a little weed seems to be the issue. It's all about drug dealers and their territory. You wouldn't see the hardline tactics if drug dealers weren't trying to protect their turf by firing shots through walls and windows.

#502224 - 03/14/15 08:32 PM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Shyboy Offline
Thank you for that point tahunt... If the new kid on the block can make a comment... There is no such thing as perfection:: Ferguson is a good example... Nothing is black and white except film. It's really simple; which side of the fence do you fall on. Do you want more civil rights for all or less civil rights for all and more protection for most. When it swings too far in either direction, there is a correction.

Right now there is a nasty crime problem on our Island.
A little known fact... Women who are overweight tend to live longer than men who mention it...

#502227 - 03/14/15 09:56 PM Re: Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
tahunt Offline
Nasty is putting it lightly. I have worked for an airline for 25 years and it has given me the fortune of being able to travel frequently. So I have traveled to San Pedro more than a dozen times and I love the island and the people whom I have met there. It just seems over the last 2 years or so crime is out of control. Crime being burglaries, stabbings, murder, buried bodies, and I will also include dishonest police and their shake downs. There were more murders there last year than the town I live in which is a suburb of Dallas with 300,000 people. Something has to give. The court system is a failure because no one is ever convicted. I believe police are understaffed but its hard to argue for more troops when every time I have driven by the police station everyone is out front sitting on the vehicles watching traffic go by. These guys should be on routine patrols just as every city's police do. If they are serious about fixing the crime problem the police need to look at themselves and their own operation. I just hope they make some headway soon before tourism is affected. If tourism numbers drop I would bet my last dollar burglaries and robberies will rise.

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