By Marion Ali
Former Football Federation of Belize Vice President, Rawell Pelayo, was deported to Belize on Tuesday after spending almost two years in a US prison for drug-related offences.
Pelayo’s release came after he made a plea bargain in June of 2014, admitting to a conspiracy to break US drug enforcement laws.
Pelayo’s plea before New York Judge Andrew Carter, US US court records, quote Pelayo as admitting that “between October 2010 and May 2011, I played a role in a conspiracy.” Pelayo went on to describe the nature of the violation as attending a meeting “to introduce a drug buyer to a potential dealer.” The reason behind Pelayo’s admittance, according to the records, was that he was in the process of losing his home to the bank and he was hoping to make some money from the “brokering”.
Pelayo told the court that he does not know if any deal took place , but that he never received any money for his efforts. He added that “the drug conspiracy involved at least 500 grams of cocaine”, which would have been taken to New York as part of the deal.
Pelayo tried to enter the US with the 2013 National Football Team when the team played that country for the World Cup qualifiers. That was almost a year after he was convicted in absencia and sentenced to 24 months. Upon his arrival in the US, he was detained at the George W. Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas.
During his appearance in court, Judge Carter chided Pelayo, saying he hoped Pelayo has learned from his mistake.