By Marion V. Ali
A sting operation on Saturday night by police at the Bella Vista Police Station in Toledo has led to the arrest of the officer commanding that station, Police Constable Bernard Villanueva.
Villanueva is charged with extortion following surveillance, which incriminated him.
The operation was linked to a report by Jeydi Romero, 28, a Honduran domestic of the same community, which stated that Villanueva forced her to pay him $200 for the release of her husband, Nahun Romero, who was being held at the village police statíon.
Later that night police set up a surveillance operation near the police station and watched as a man entered the police station and hand over something to Villanueva.
As the police team closed in on the transaction, they saw Villanueva throw something on the ground. When they retrieved it, officers discovered $200.00 in cash which the sting operators had previously photographed to record the serial numbers. The police team found that the numbers on the money bills were a perfect match with serial numbers photographed.
Villanueva has been removed from his post en Bella Vista and placed on interdiction pending the outcome of a criminal prosecution for extortion.