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Police and Special Constable charged for extorting tourist

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2017. 5:29 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: According to reports from the San Pedro Sun, on the night of Thursday, June 15, a tourist was at a bar on the island when he was approached by three police officers from San Pedro.

Timothy Braun reportedly contacted the editor of the San Pedro Sun to ask for assistance.

Scotiabank

Braun explained to the Sun that the officers, who were on a golf cart and dressed in uniform, accused him of smoking marijuana. Braun informed the officers that he was smoking tobacco, but was promptly told they were taking him in for smoking weed.

Braun was reportedly then handcuffed and placed on the back of the golf cart. He was taken to a dark area along the Boca del Rio River just before reaching the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. Braun said that the handcuffs were removed and he was led to the water’s edge.

The report says that one officer put a gun to Braun’s head and stated that if he did not give them all of his money, he would end up in the river. Braun explained that his cash was at the Airbnb apartment and the police then drove him to the location.

The officers searched the apartment and stole US $500 cash and shared it among themselves in front of Braun.

PC Denfield Ramos, Special Constable Orlando Mendez and PC Malcolm Ramirez were detained yesterday for the crime.

After thorough investigation, PC Ramos was charged with theft, extortion and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Special Constable Mendez was charged with theft and extortion.

Braun was accommodated by the Belize Tourism Industry Association and San Pedro Town Council for the remainder of his stay.

The Sun reports that Officer Commanding San Pedro Police, Henry Jemmoth said that there is more than sufficient evidence to get a conviction against the officers.

PC Malcolm Ramirez was not charged because he agreed to testify on behalf of the defendant for immunity. At the time of the incident, PC Ramos was armed with a police issued weapon.

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