Wednesday, November 18th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: In the Magistrate’s Court today two Belize City men were condemned to a heavy fine and prison time for trafficking over fifty pounds of cannabis found inside a Dodge Caravan at the police George Price Highway checkpoint at Mile 4 on May 11, 2013, two years ago.
Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer found 41 year old taxi driver, Walter Beaton, and 38 year old fisherman, Kirk Dougal guilty of drug trafficking with intent to supply to another person.
Walter Beaton was given 3 years’ imprisonment plus the mandatory minimum fine of $10,000; while Dougal, who has more than one conviction for drug related offenses, was slapped with a 4 years prison term plus a $10,000 fine.
Dougal is a repeat offender and had as many as 14 matters for drug related offenses. Both men say they are the only providers for their families.
Around 8:40 p.m. on May 11, 2013, Constable Rueben Ixim was working at the checkpoint when a Dodge Caravan vehicle, driven at the time by Beaton who was joined by Dougal, drove up.
Acting upon information previously received, Ixim searched the vehicle, and found a bag behind the back passenger seat containing the drugs. But at trial, both men denied having knowledge of the weed being there.
According to Dougal he was only hitch hiking a ride. However, Senior Magistrate Fraser did not believe either of the men and found them guilty.
Both men must pay the fine by April 30, 2016, in default an additional 3 years’ imprisonment.
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