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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Twice today, downtown Belize City came to a standstill. The immediate area around the courthouse was cordoned off as five officers were whisked into court for arraignment on drug related charges. The media was kept at bay when the five were taken to court in handcuffs and shackles under heavy police escort. The five have been in custody since November thirteenth when they were intercepted near a plane laden with eighty bales of Colombian cocaine. They already face a charge of unlicensed ammunition and firearm levied at by the Punta Gorda police, but the charges today put them closer to the largest Colombian cocaine haul. News Five's Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Lawrence Humes

Five men; four of whom are officers attached to the Belize Police Department were today twice escorted to the Magistrate's Court in Belize City under heavy security detail where they were read an additional charge in connection with the seizure of two point six tons of cocaine last month.

jacinto roches

Local law enforcement authorities had been tipped off about the landing of a twin engine airplane on the Southern Highway near Bladen during the predawn hours of Saturday, November thirteenth. While the pilot and the plane's contents were not found in the immediate vicinity a team of five, namely: sergeants Lawrence Humes and Jacinto Roches, corporals Renel Grant and Nelson Middleton as well as Customs boatman Harold Usher, was intercepted at the San Juan bus stop along the Southern Highway.

renel grant

The men were caught traveling inside a white van which contained anti-drug garments, wet suits, car batteries and GPS equipment; all of which were believed to have been used in the landing and unloading of the aircraft.

nelson middleton

The men were then taken into custody and escorted to the Punta Gorda Police Station where they were jointly charged for possession of unlicensed ammunition. A fifth officer, Vidal Cajun, had also been arrested and charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm in connection with the incident.

harold usher

In the wake of the bust the shipment of cocaine, eighty bales valued at a hundred and forty million Belize dollars, was transported from Punta Gorda to Belize City where it was housed at the Raccoon Street Headquarters before being taken to Tower Hill for destruction.

vidal cajun

In court today the group, with the exception of Cajun, was additionally charged with abetment to import a controlled drug with the purpose of facilitating the exportation of two thousand, nine hundred and twenty-one kilograms of cocaine. Of note is that of the eighty bales a number of individual bricks are being held as evidence inside the porous exhibit room at the police headquarters to be used in the subsequent case against the officers. The men have since retained legal counsel from attorney Dickie Bradley who was absent from today's session before Chief Magistrate Margaret McKenzie. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The men are to go back to court on February ninth, 2011. On November twenty-fourth, the Hattieville Prison came under attack twice. It is believed that the shooting is connected to imprisonment of the five.

Channel 5

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Five police officers and custom officers who were allegedly involved in the landing of a drug airplane on November 13th, returned to Magistrate's court today under heavy police and BDF guard. However, only four of the police officers and the custom officers were charged with abetment of a crime. According to the allegation, on November thirteenth the officers facilitated the landing of an airplane carrying 2,921 kilograms of cocaine between miles fifty-six and fifty-seven on the Southern Highway. The five are Sergeant Jacinto Roches, attached to the Internal Affairs Department, sergeant Lawrence Humes, attached to the Belmopan Police Station, Corporal Nelson Middleton, who was the driver for the Governor General of Belize, Corporal Renel Grant, attached to the Traffic Department and custom officer Harold Usher. Only Corporal Vidal Cajun was not charged with the offence. However, Vidal and the others have a charge of keeping ammunition without a gun license and were remanded into custody until February 9th, 2011. The five were given the same remand date for the new charge.


Joined: Oct 1999
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Cops Charged For Facilitating Landing Of Drug Plane

On November 13th. a plane loaded with at least two-thousand, six hundred kilos of cocaine landed on the Southern Highway. 6 lawmen: 5 police and one customs were arrested miles away; police concluded that they were directly involved - but proving it would be another matter.

That's because the evidence was at best, circumstantial; they were found with a car battery like the ones used to land the plane, as well as muddied footwear and un-assigned police uniforms.

They were initially charged with a possession of a single round of ammunition - which we are told was a holding charge - to remand them until the DPP could put together other charges directly related to the plane landing.

That charge was forwarded today in Belize City Magistrate's court - where the police put the courthouse under highest security lockdown.

The man in charge was Assistant Commissioner of police David Henderson who commanded over two dozen Anti Drug Unit, Special Patrol Unit And The Belize Special Assignment Group to completely cover the area in front of court one -which faces the Brodies pharmacy on Regent Street.

All the officers carried assault rifles - and the van carrying the accused officers was escorted by marked and unmarked police escort vehicles.

And even with all that scenery - ACP Henderson - still arranged affairs so that the five accused could dodge the media - which we should note is standard special treatment for all police officers appearing in court.

But there was no dodging the charge. Four of the policemen and the customs boatman were charged with abetment of a crime. The four are Sergeant Jacinto Roches, Sergeant Vidal Cajun was not charged today, Sergeant Lawrence Humes, Customs boatman Harold Usher, who is a former policeman, corporal Nelson Middleton who is the governor general's driver, and Corporal Renell Grant.

According to the allegation, the five - again, minus Corporal Cajun - were charged for abetment of a crime; specifically, facilitating the landing of an airplane with 2,921 kilos of cocaine between miles 56 and 57 on the Southern Highway. They were already on remand until February ninth, 2011 for the ammunition offence - and today's proceeding was also adjourned until that date.

We note that the 2,921 kilos is more than the 2,604 kilos that had been originally reported across the media.

Channel 7

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
How much coke is missing so far?

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