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Jul 30, 2004

Cops bust cocaine plane with 600 kilos

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After a long string of near misses stretching literally from Hondo to Sarstoon, law enforcement authorities have finally stopped a drug plane with its cargo intact. The drama unfolded in the skies above the Orange Walk District around eleven Thursday night when residents alerted the police to the sound of a circling aircraft. Members of the anti-drug unit–having been alerted by a Crimestoppers 922 tip–were already in the area and saw the plane come down in a pasture outside San Lazaro Village. According to a police press release, when police approached the twin engine Beechcraft they came under fire. A one-hour gun battle broke out in the dark during which it appears that neither side suffered any casualties. The cops kept the plane surrounded until dawn when they moved in and discovered inside thirty bales of what is believed to be high quality cocaine. At news time, the tedious process of weighing was still not complete, but press officer G. Michael Reid estimated the haul at around six hundred kilos, that’s close to thirteen hundred pounds. No one associated with the plane has been apprehended although police continue to comb the area. That particular part of Belize has long been a favourite haunt of drug smugglers due to its close proximity to a sparsely populated section of Southern Mexico near the Belize border.

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