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Mario Bustillos faces new charges after previous charges dropped in case against evidence keeper blamed for student hospitalizations from weed-gummies

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2024. 8:44 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Mario Bustillos, the Belize Police Department Exhibit Keeper previously charged with ten counts of negligent harm, has had those charges withdrawn. However, he now faces a new charge of Willful Oppression related to the improper disposal of cannabis-infused candies.

Bustillos was initially charged in April 2023 after the disposal of the candies led to hospitalizations of 14 individuals, including school children and adults. The new charge alleges that Bustillos acted beyond his authority when disposing of the cannabis candies on April 21, 2023, resulting in public injuries.

His attorney, Nazira Myles Espat, informed the court that she has faced issues accessing crucial evidence due to malfunctioning CDs. Of the two CDs provided for evidence, only one is functional, causing delays in the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) process. The Senior Magistrate adjourned the PI to May 3, 2024, awaiting confirmation on the CD’s functionality.

Bustillos remains on interdiction since the new charge and has received over 140 pages of full disclosure along with pictures and CDs. Despite the delays, Myles Espat intends to submit on behalf of her client, emphasizing the need for court intervention to address the evidence access issues.

Previously, Bustillos was granted permission to travel to Chetumal, Mexico, for a family vacation in August 2023. Upon his return, the negligent harm charges were dropped, and the new charge of Willful Oppression was filed against him.

 

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