The name OJ Holden popped into the news last week when the 76 year old American-Belizean Caye Caulker Resident had what could have been a serious accident at the San Pedro Belize Express Terminal. He pulled up his pants, and accidentally triggered the 9 millimeter pistol that was in his pocket. The gun fired towards the ground, and when the bullet hit, the fragments splintered off and grazed two persons. They received only very minor injury and Holder's gun was confiscated, while the two injured persons declined to press charges.
But it seems that little appearance in the news, however fleeting, caught the attention of US Law Enforcement. Our reports say that last week, Holden was detained in Belize on the interest of US law enforcement. But, Holden who has been in Belize for 22 years, is a naturalized Belizean, so he was released.
Today, an embassy spokesperson in Belmopan told us that, quote, "The U.S. Embassy can confirm that OJ Holden is wanted by U.S. law enforcement for narcotics charges." End quote. When asked if the U.S. will be seeking his extradition, we were told, quote, "(US) law enforcement routinely works with Belizean counterparts on areas of mutual interest." End of quote.
We reached Holden five minutes ago and he told us Holden told us that the questioning was because of a mis-statement in his passport that he applied for 14 years ago. He told he is not wanted for narcotics charges, which is something he never did, and it is not something that concerns him at all. When asked about the US statement that he was wanted, he told us quote, "what they want you for doesn't mean that's what you did." End quote.
Holden is a well known resident of Caye Caulker where he has lived for 20 years, and owns a dive shop. We could not reach him for comment, but a write-up on the internet says he was the chairman of the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue for 10 years and a Rescue Boat Captain and Pilot. In Belize, he was the rescue coordinator for British Army 25 Flight and the crime control representative for the Belize Tourism Industry Association.