On Friday four Belizeans who were serving time at a Mexican prison were transferred back to Belize to the Kolbe Correctional Facility where they will continue their sentence. Hillian Martinez and Kevin Lincoln Smith, both 35 years of age, 55 year old Miguel Perez and 58 year old Francisco Nunez will serve approximately six years at the Central Prison before they become free men.
As mentioned on Friday, the men were transferred to Belize as part of the Mexico-Belize prisoner exchange program. Representing the Commissioner of Police on Friday was Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation, Andrew Ramirez, who told us more about the exchange.
Andrew Ramirez- OC Corozal
“I received along with the Ambassador from Foreign Affairs, receive four individuals their names are: Mr kevin Licoln smith, Heliam Martinez, Francisco Nunez and Miguel Perez these individuals were transferred after been sentenced in Mexico in July 2007, by the way it was 15 years in prison, so these were the four that we took over from the Mexican authorities, the ambassador signed on behalf of the Belizean government and I as the Head Officer on behalf of the Commissioner where the warrant as basically saying that I will sign on behalf of the Commissioner and I am safely hand over these officers to the prison authorities and I did that in the presence of Mr. Earl Jones, the CEO of prison of Friday last.”
Victor Castillo – Reporter
“What were these guys charged for in the Mexican authority?”
Andrew Ramirez- OC Corozal
“Well, basically on the information that I read before I signed on a document that I passed on the information to the officers was of drug cocaine and firearm, so these were the two offences that they were charged for back in 2005.”
For context, back in July of 2005 the armed forces of three counties collaborated to thwart a cocaine run with an estimated value of six million Belize Dollars. Four Belizeans and a Honduran were intercepted in a boat some twenty-five miles east of Caye Caulker after being chased by members of the Belize Police Department, B.D.F. and the DEA. Mexican authorities were also contacted as the boat headed north.
Investigations had revealed that the vessel made its way from Colombia. As an international team of law enforcement personnel attempted to board the vessel, shots were fired and a Honduran national, Jesus Castillo Orellano was shot and injured.
Martinez, Smith, Perez and Nunez are all from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. During the 2005 bust, police confiscated one thousand, three hundred and fifty kilos of cocaine, a rifle, two pistols, a satellite phone, two cellular phones, two VHS radios, and a global positioning system.
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