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Over $11,000 in fines for Hopkins fisherman who takes fall for fisheries offences

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Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2022. 9:49 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The accused in the second major bust of the weekend appeared in court this evening, where again one took the fall for the others.

Denmar Ventura, 41; Dixon Alvarez, 32; and Marlin Martinez, 23, were jointly charged with possession of six lobster tails in closed season; possession of 61 undersized conches in shell and fishing in a conservation zone where they were found with other marine items ranging from grunt to snapper.

Martinez, who can neither hear nor speak, and Alvarez, from Honduras, were separately charged with fishing without a valid fishing license.

Through interpreters, Ventura pleaded guilty, saying he missed the buoys which guide fishermen to know when they are entering a conservation zone.

He was fined $1,000 for the lobster and $60 per lobster for a total of $1,300; $1,000 for the undersized conch and $50 per conch for $4,050; and $1,000 + $5,080 for 116 illegal marine product found in his possession in a conservation zone for a grand total of $11,430 due between October 15 and December 30. In default, it will be six months imprisonment and distress – meaning he will have to sell off items to pay the courts.

Martinez pleaded guilty to his charge and was fined $1,000 and cost of court payable by September 30, in default six months’ imprisonment.

Alvarez pleaded not guilty to the same charge and will go to trial. He has met bail of $1,000 and returns to court on July 21.

The bust was made on June 5 at about 10:30 p.m., in the channel between North East Caye and Long Caye within the Conservation Zone of Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve.

 

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