Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2023. 11:25 am CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: 70-year-old Jose Lopez narrowly escaped a jail sentence after being convicted of possessing unlicensed ammunition. Employed as a security guard at a farm, Lopez was found with seven 20-gauge cartridges even though he only had a license for a 16-gauge shotgun.
The arrest was made following a distress call to police indicating that a man was trying to commit suicide. On arrival at the farm, police found Lopez in possession of a rusty 16-gauge shotgun and seven 20-gauge cartridges in a yellow plastic bag.
Appearing before the Chief Magistrate, Lopez broke down after pleading guilty to the charge of keeping ammunition without a gun license. Lopez, who was epresented by Senior Counsel Hubert Elrington and attorney Norman Rodriguez, was facing the potential of a prison term sentence.
Lopez’s attorneys moved swiftly to make a case for a non-custodial sentence, highlighting that this was Lopez’s first offense. They cited similar cases, like those of Cpl. Geno Peck and Daniel Tillett, who were fined for possessing more than one type of unlicensed ammunition.
Furthermore, Elrington pointed out that Lopez’s illiteracy led him to misunderstand the specific type of ammunition his license permitted him to carry. Lopez thought that the 20-gauge cartridges could work in his 16-gauge shotgun, and hence was unaware of the legal implications of having the wrong ammunition.
Taking all factors into consideration, the Chief Magistrate imposed a fine of $3,000, along with a $5.00 court cost, to be paid by November 30, 2023. Failure to do so will result in a three-year imprisonment for Lopez.
As to the initial report made, Lopez denied in court that he was attempting to commit suicide. He claimed that when the police arrived he told them “No, I nuh deh try kill meh self because I nuh deh get crazy.”
Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Belize ~ We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages. Your content is delivered instantly to thousands of users in Belize and abroad! Contact us at mаrkеtіng@brеаkіngbеlіzеnеwѕ.соm or call us at 501-601-0315.
© 2023, BreakingBelizeNews.com. Content is copyrighted and requires written permission for reprinting in online or print media. Theft of content without permission/payment is punishable by law.