Posted: Thursday, December 31st, 2015. 8:18 p.m. CST
By Aaron Humes: 39 year old Richard McDonald of Hattieville and 25 year old Giovanni Requena of Belize City, were charged with drug trafficking in respect to 11,155 grams of heroin when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.
McDonald, a tour operator, and Requena, a fisherman, were also charged with supplying 5 grams of heroin to Ervin Teck. They pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Fraser denied bail because of the nature of the offence and remanded them into custody until March 2.
McDonald was represented by attorney Herbert Panton, who went on the offensive, charging that his client was separately charged from Requena despite their being in the same circumstances; that police returned McDonald’s vehicle to his wife despite their allegations that he was using it when they busted him on December 29 near the Belchina Bridge; that Teck and others are involved but are not before the court; that the arrest was made by two Americans rather than Belizean officers; and that the matter was reported on the press, with his client’s name called far and wide, with hours of the bust.
Panton even threatened a major lawsuit against the Department, claiming that police are not even sure if the substance found is even heroin or not.
Despite Panton’s allegations, his client was denied bail as the Senior Magistrate’s hands were tied due to the new amendment to the Crimes Control and Justice Act, which covers all illegal drugs save marijuana.
Requena owes the court $10,000 for a drug trafficking conviction from July 2014, more than a year ago, and could not pay the fine due from August of 2014, and so began a three year jail sentence.
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