Yesterday we told you about the operation carried out by the Orange Walk Police Formation that yielded over 14 pounds of marijuana.
Police received intelligence of a vehicle coming from Corozal, headed towards Orange Walk which was suspected to be transporting drugs from across the Mexican Border. Yesterday at around 3:30 police intercepted the vehicle believed to be transporting the drugs, a gold Cadillac Escalade being driven at the time by twenty four year old Michael Requena of a Ladyville address. Requena was ordered to stop by police as he approached the roundabout near Pucte Villas on the Phillip Goldson Highway.
Also inside the vehicle was 24 year old Keith Patrick Flowers, who was just deported from the US after spending time in jail for the offence of kidnapping. Following about 100 yards behind the gold Cadillac Escalade was a black Mercedes Benz which was being driven at the time by 30 year old Alrick Smith, who is well known to Orange Walk Police after he was charged with drug trafficking back in December of last year. The vehicle was also believed to be transporting drugs.
Both vehicles and the three individuals were then taken to the Orange Walk Police Station, where an extensive search was conducted on both vehicles. In the gold Cadillac police noticed several slashes on the tail gate and upon further search, police retrieved 11 individually packaged parcels of what was believed to be cannabis. The suspected cannabis amounted to a total of 7.47 Kg with a street value of over $24,000 dollars. All three men were arrested and jointly charged with Drug Trafficking.
Today at around 2:00 in the afternoon, Alrick Smith, Michael Requena and Keith Patrick Flowers were all taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate court before Judge Marlene Moody to answer to the charge of drug trafficking. Michael Requena and Alrick Smith were both represented by Dickie Bradley while Keith Flowers was unrepresented. All three men were read a single charge of drug trafficking to which they all pleaded not guilty. After about 2 hours of back and forth between the prosecutors and the defense, Judge Moody granted all three men a hefty bail and adjourned the case until May 3rd, 2016. Following the adjournment of case Attorney Dickie Bradley spoke to us about the case against this client.
Dickie Bradley –Defendant Lawyer
“In this case the police and the prosecutor were making lengthy submissions to ask the court not to give the freedom to the three accused persons, in the case of Smith three was very lengthy submissions bringing up his past which was not really his past, at the end of the day I think the magistrate was a bit hesitant but having heard the arguments the procedures now the new rules from the Chief Justice is that a summary of the case is available to the court and we have to bear in mind that it is only the police’s version of what is alleged to have happened and from what they have said you’ve had known that in the case of Smith, how can a man who is not even in the vehicle, he is coming way behind how can you stop him and tell him he is the drug trafficker, how will that stand up in court and then another man is innocent passenger in a vehicle so it would have been unfair to go to jail for whatever period so a very high bail was offered to then, $20,000.00 bail for each of them plus a very stiff condition, they must go and report to the police station every week, they cannot leave this country without coming and giving a proper explanation and obtain back their passport.”
The men are to present themselves to the Belize City Queens Square police Station every Friday until their next court case. Up until news time the men have not met bail.