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Police involved in trans-border weapon smuggling?

Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2017. 9:51 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Four people, including a police officer, are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after officers found them in possession of an illegal firearm, which originated in Guatemala.

PC Franklin Ramirez, John Pineda, Trevor Dean Brown, and Elorey Graham were arraigned in Belmopan and remanded on Tuesday for various firearm-related charges. The officer, PC Franklin Ramirez, who was driving the vehicle when they were stopped will also face disciplinary charges from the department. 

Acting Officer Commanding the Police Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster, explained that the department’s Mobile Interdiction Team intercepted a Ford Explorer near mile 56 in Ontario Village at around 10 p.m. on Monday.

Broaster said that the MIT escorted the vehicle to the Police Training School in Belmopan where they conducted a search and discovered a Winchester brand .9 millimeter pistol which was concealed under the glove compartment. Officers also found three magazines stowed in a hidden compartment within the dashboard.

“It has the elements of a sophisticated operation – and – to that end – what is most intriguing, is that there is the suggestion of a joint enterprise of cross border weapons trafficking,” Broaster said.

He went on to say that police have already found a shotgun on a bus coming from the Cayo district, which strengthens their theory about the weapons trafficking enterprise. To address the issue, Broaster said that police are stepping up their interdiction efforts, because police are aware of an arrangement where Belizeans take stolen goods to Guatemala in exchange for marijuana or firearms.

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