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Alleged gang member breaks down to tears in court over ‘gang’ charge in crackdown of ‘Jerusalem Bone Yard Crips’

Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2022. 5:59 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: A Belize City man became distraught in court today when he learned that he would be remanded to the Belize Central Prison on a gang affiliation charge.

Twenty-seven-year-old Anthony Phillip Ramirez appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court and initially pleaded guilty to being a member of the Jerusalem Bone Yard Crips (JBYC) gang.

When the facts were read out to him and the court asked him if he is a member of the gang, he replied “no” stating he was only pleading guilty in an effort to avoid going to jail. He went on to tell the court that police told him if he pleaded guilty to the charge, he would only receive a fine.

Under the circumstances, the Magistrate could not accept his guilty plea and entered an equivocal plea of not guilty on his behalf. Ramirez broke down in court and in his emotional distress, explained that police wanted him to work for them as an informant, but when he refused the officers charged him with gang affiliation.

With his not guilty plea, Ramirez was denied bail and remanded to prison until March 31, 2022.

Police have been cracking down on the JBYC, with several of its members being arrested between last week and this week, most of them pleading guilty and receiving a six-month prison sentence.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that he had hoped for a longer sentence, but that the police will continue to seek out, arrest and charge members of the JBYC, particularly due to their role in the recent surge of violent crime in the Antelope Street Extension area of Belize City.

 

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