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Fishermen caught with undersized conch – fined $19, 620

By Anita Nembhard
Free Lance Reporter

Four members of the Rangel family – fishermen living in Chunox, Corozal were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for separate fisheries offenses, involving the possession of undersized conch.

At the end of their arraignment, the family – consisting of three brothers and a brother in law – were ordered to pay a fine of $19,620.00, which must be cleared by November 15, 2015. The first to be arraigned was 38-year-old Jaime Rangel, the youngest of the brothers who was found in possession of 146 fillet fully processed, undersized conch.

The second to be arraigned was the oldest of the brothers, 53-year-old Leandro Rangel, who was found in possesson of 195 undersized conchs, followed by 39-year-old Mike Lin Rangel, who was found in possession of 98 undersized conch.

Last to be arraigned was their brother-in-law, 43-year-old Isidro Patt, who was found in possession with the largest amount of undersized conch, a total of 265.
In court, the men all pleaded guilty in the presence of their attorney, Oscar Selgado.

Magistrate Ladonna John, who heard the matter, imposed a fine of $500 plus a $5.00 cost of court on each of them for the offense they committed. She also fined them $25 each for every confiscated conch.

Jaime’s fine totaled $3,650.00, while Leandro’s total amounted to $4,875. Mike Lin Rangel has to pay the court $2,450 and their brother-in-law was fined $6,625.

The bust was made by Fisheries Officer, Rodney Castillo on May 7, 2015, at the Northern Fishermen Cooperative at 6:45 p.m.
The men have until November 15, 2015 to pay their fines. In default, Jaime, Leandro and Mike Lin Rangel will have to serve one year while their brother-in-law will have to serve two years for his catch.

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