Extortion charges dropped against San Pedro Constables
Special Constable Orlando Mendez and Police Constable Nelson Ramos, formally attached to the San Pedro Police Formation were freed on extortion charges on Wednesday, July 17th. On June 15, 2017, American tourist Timothy Braun accused Mendez and Ramos of shaking him down for US $300 to drop a marijuana charge.
Braun said he had been falsely accused of smoking marijuana, and handcuffed and robbed. Former co-accused, Constable Malcolm Ramirez, who today remains an active member of the San Pedro Police Department agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for immunity. According to Ramirez, while on patrol, they spotted a group of Americans who smelled like marijuana. A search located the “joint” of weed on Braun, but as he was being taken in custody, the others asked what they could do to help their friend. Ramirez said it was they who offered the money to be shared between them; he got US$50, and Mendez and Ramirez took US$125 each.
Justice Colin Williams, presiding, ruled that a conviction would be unsafe, as the prosecution only had Ramirez’s testimony, not even Braun. While Ramirez tried to lessen his role in the shakedown, he was nonetheless an accomplice, despite claiming he walked away afterward.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun