Police Bust Mexican With 300 Pounds Of Coke, About To Cross Northern Border

Tonight a Mexican is in police custody along with almost 300 pounds of cocaine - after a major bust yesterday evening at the Santa Elena border in Northern Belize.

Here's the information we've pieced together from multiple law enforcement sources: yesterday evening an alert police man was in a bus when he spotted a suspicious vehicle overtaking the bus. The vehicle was a Nissan pickup with Mexican plates hauling a small trailer, nothing suspicious in and of itself.

Except that this vehicle has been in and out of Belize recently, and caught the eye of police in Benque Viejo. That's where it's been observed coming into the country as often as twice a month since the middle of this year. And after coming in through Benque, the Mexican truck and its driver, 44 year old Martin Rafeal Machado heads straight for the Belize-Mexico border and crosses over there to his home country of Mexico. He carries with him - and dutifully checks into customs a few shoes samples that he's supposedly brought to sell.

Well, yesterday, it seems he did it one time too many - and - according to reports, the policeman in the bus called Police in Corozal and a composite patrol.

Our reports say they got to the border just in time because Machado had just checked his items through Customs on the Belize side, and had already checked through immigration. In fact, reports say he was about to pass through the barrier when police pounced on him.

But, their first search of the truck turned up nothing, they looked inside the truck and the trailer and it was clean, he only had a few shelves for his shoes.

That's when they took it back to the Corozal police station and checked inside the head of the trailer - known as the air dam - where they found 111 kilos of cocaine stuffed in a specially designed hidden compartment. Each cocaine brick weighed in at a little over about 1.1 kilo and each is labeled XT. It has an estimated value of 2.5 million US dollars.

Suspicions are that he trafficked the cocaine from Honduras through Belize back to Mexico. He is being held pending charges and police have the cocaine securely stored.

Channel 7