Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Trials » Guatemalan National Freed on Ammunition Charge
Jul 1, 2015

Guatemalan National Freed on Ammunition Charge

Mauricio Perez

Tonight, Guatemalan national, Mauricio Perez who has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison serving a six month prison term for an immigration offense for being illegal in Belize, has been freed from the offense of keeping an unlicensed firearm without a gun license. In July 2014, just after leaving his workplace as a Security Guard with JB Security, Perez was stopped and searched and found in his possession of seven live nine millimeter rounds. Perez was remanded initially to the Belize Central Prison and later Attorney Nazira Espat Myles was able to secure him bail. Today, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith upheld a no case submission put forwarded by Myles on behalf of her client on the grounds that the security company had a license for the ammunitions Perez was found with.

 

Nazira Espat Myles, Attorney

“He was charged with kept ammunition without a gun license. He was charged in July of last year or thereabouts. He maintained through-out the entire case, thus far, that he was working for a specific security company and that the company issued him the ammunition and the firearm when he was posted at the Fisheries Department to work the night in question. When shift changed and he was leaving work, he left the firearm but the ammunition remained in his pocket and that’s when a search of his person was conducted and he was arrested and charged.”

 

Nazira Espat Myles

Reporter

“Okay. Today you made a no case submission based on…?”

 

Nazira Espat Myles

“My no case submission was based on that the prosecution didn’t provide sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that a gun license didn’t exist in the company’s name. Sergeant Patt who was the investigating officer admitted in court that he only called in the owner of the company to question him whether he knew the accused, but didn’t do any further investigation as to searching whether there was a gun license, whether in fact a gun was issued, nothing further was done. And the court upheld my submission that, there is a possibility that there is a gun license and there is a possibility there is none. But there wasn’t sufficient evidence brought before the court.”

 

Reporter

“So, now what’s the status of your client? He is a Guatemalan?”

 

Nazira Espat Myles

“Indeed he is a Guatemalan. When he was arrested I obtained Supreme Court bail for him and while on bail his passport was kept at the Police Station. He was stopped by some officers, asked as to his status and could not produce the updated stamp, made an attempt to explain to the officers that, well you know my passport is at the police station and my attorney normally gets it for me to stamp’ has taken place and they arrested him, charged him and he has served his six months.”

 

Reporter

“What was that charge, being illegally in the country?”

 

Nazira Espat Myles

“Yes, correct. So, at this point in time given that now he is acquitted of the charge there is a removal order in effect for him. I do intend to challenge with immediate effect that removal order on the basis that he was updating his status here. It wasn’t intentional that he came in the country with no papers, etc. So, that’s the next move I am making.”

 

Reporter

“How long was he in the country before this?”

 

Nazira Espat Myles

“Prior to this charge, he was in the country for two months.”

 

At the time of the bust, Perez was posted as a security guard at the Northern Fisherman Cooperative on North Front Street. Of interest is that the arresting officer and investigating officer, Sgt. Edward Patt told the court that he had questioned Perez’s boss, but he denied knowing Perez.

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*