A Belize City woman was remanded to prison, following arraignment on two drug trafficking charges in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, for a quantity of marijuana weighing around 75 pounds.
Therese Elizabeth Elijio pleaded not guilty to the charges, but because of the substantial quantity of drugs for which she is charged, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton told her that his court does not have the power to offer her bail.
Elijio’s attorney, Anthony Sylvester, had urged the court to grant his client bail, saying that she is a Belizean and therefore not a flight risk.
The court prosecutor, in objecting to bail, said that apart from being a very large quantity of marijuana, Elijio also owes the court for previous convictions.
Sylvester submitted that the fines and bail are two separate issues, and that if his client is granted bail, she would have to pay the fines, before she is released.
But in the end, it came down to a proviso in the amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, which stipulated that the Magistrate’s Court cannot grant bail in drug cases, where the amount of drugs is in excess of five kilos for marijuana and one kilo for cocaine.
Bail would have to be applied for at the Supreme Court, Hamilton told Elijio, before he remanded her to prison until her next court date on October 18.
Early on Monday morning, the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) conducted a raid at the home of Elijio, located at 152 Antelope Street Extension.
The GSU raid came up with two separate quantities of marijuana, one for 28.8 kilos and another for 9.8 kilos. When weighed together the two quantities of marijuana amounted to around 75 pounds.
The drugs were found in a large red crocus sack and a black garbage bag under a bed in Elijio’s house.
Police reportedly believe that the drug belongs to the Mayflower Street gang known as the Ghost Town Crips.