Fugitives busted in San Pedro!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 20            May 19, 2005

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The San Pedro Police Department has assisted in capturing two more United States of America nationals wanted for infractions committed in the US.

    40-year-old Paul Nathan Linney was arrested in San Ignacio after Jan Brown, owner of Pier Lounge in San Pedro, assisted the US Embassy Police and the San Ignacio Police Department in the capture. Linney was wanted in the US after he violated his parole for sexual offenses committed in the State of Texas.

    Prior to escaping to San Ignacio, Linney was arrested for burglary in San Pedro. While on the island, he had been entering the Pier Lounge at nights after opening hours. He had been taking liquor, beers and cigarettes without her consent for a period of more than four and a half months. The incident occurred on the night of April 23rd and when Jan made her report she mistakenly told officers that it had occurred on the 24th. Due to this technicality, Linney was able to walk free. After her court hearing, Jan tried to get an appeal, but asked officers to run a background check on Linney. The background check came back with information that Linney was wanted in the US.

    Shortly after, Linney “skipped” town and was missing for a few days. However, when Jan and officers contacted him via his cell phone, he would answer which meant that Linney was still in the country. Last Friday, Jan received information that the fugitive had been seen in San Ignacio. She immediately called the department and arranged travel to the Cayo District. On Saturday, Embassy Officials and San Ignacio officers, along with Jan, prepared a sting to capture Linney. Jan agreed to meet with Linney and while she was having a conversation with him, officers moved in and made the arrest. “He asked me, ‘How could you do this to me?’ and I told him, ‘You lied to me, you stole from me, it was easy,” she told The San Pedro Sun. “From the beginning his stories never matched and he was a very belligerent person when drunk. The only thing I can say is that there are lots of nice people out there; we just have to keep an eye on the bad ones. I would like to thank Corporal McDougal and Embassy Officer Hamilton who performed their duties very professionally. They offered me much needed support and words of comfort afterwards. I commend them and say Belize should be proud to have these men working for justice,” she ended.

    Linney’s record dates back to 1972 when he was first arrested for burglary. Since then, he has spent time in jail, including an eight year sentence for attempted murder and just recently was released after being arrested for sexual offenses against a minor. It was this charge that he had been released on bail for.

    The second man apprehended is 49-year-old Michael Mendenhall. He was arrested following an altercation with a store manager whom Mendenhall had verbally assaulted after he refused to accept Mendenhall’s credit card. On April 29th, was arrested on charges of using indecent words and obtaining property by deception. Subsequent investigations by the Belize Police Department with INTERPOL revealed that Mendenhall was wanted by cops in Florida after he fled US jurisdiction before he could stand charges for attempted murder; once extradited he will stand trial.

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