Crime

Police constable, minor and associates busted smuggling stolen Guatemalan gun

By Michelle Sutherland

A Police Constable attached to Precinct Two in Belize City is facing criminal and disciplinary charges after he and three other people including a minor, were busted smuggling a stolen Guatemalan firearm with three magazines on Monday night in Ontario village, Cayo.

On August 7, the Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT) stopped a white Ford Explorer, traveling from San Ignacio town to Belmopan, which was driven at the time by Police Constable, Franklin Ramirez. He was accompanied by Trevor Dean Brown, Elorey Graham and a 17-year-old minor.

According to police, MIT escorted the vehicle and its occupants to the Police Training Academy in Belmopan, where a secondary search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a hidden compartment under the dashboard which contained a .9mm Bereta pistol along with three magazine.

Acting Officer Commanding Police Eastern Division, ACP Edward Broaster said the firearm was being shipped into Belize from across the Guatemalan border as it was registered and reported stolen there.

Broaster said police believe there is an organized ring operating in the area which has seen an influx of weapons, ammunition and drugs coming from Guatemala to Belize. He said police are preparing to step up interdiction efforts in the western jurisdiction as a result.

Last week, MIT also seized a 12 gauge pump action shot gun, which was being smuggled onboard a Valencia bus traveling from Benque to Belmopan. No one claimed the luggage and the shotgun was labelled as found property.

“Based on this discovery and a previous discovery, we are investigating this matter very seriously and cannot comment any further on what might be the motive of this smuggling of firearms,” Broaster said.

Broaster was also drilled by the media about whether the department is concerned that over the past few months a number of Precinct Two police officers have been allegedly engaged in illegal activities. “Yes It is a concern for us when any of our officers are involved in any act of perceived, or alleged illegalities,” Broaster said.

The two men, the woman and the minor were all arraigned for firearm related offenses in the Belmopan Magistrate Court on Tuesday, where they were all denied bail and remanded to the Hattieville Prison until November 9.

Also, last Friday police found two Belize City women at a park in Benque Viejo town with a purse loaded with ninety-nine live .45 rounds. It is believed the women were transporting the ammunition to Belize City.

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