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Jun 8, 2017

Forensic Examiner Orlando Vera Gets Two Years for Perverting Justice

A ballistics examiner employed with the National Forensic Science Service is serving a two-year sentence at the Belize Central Prison after being found guilty last Thursday of abetment to pervert the course of justice.  It is the first time that such a charge has ended with a conviction and according to the Chief Magistrate, “Corruption is the core eating out this society.” The case against Vera arises out of the trial of businessman Michael Modiri who was previously charged with the offenses of kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition, along with kept prohibited material.  Despite those charges subsequently being dismissed, Modiri contracted the services of a private investigator to get to the bottom of the conspiracy to frame him.  Enter Orlando Vera.  Sometime in June or July of last year, the agent set up a meeting with the ballistics examiner at Modiri’s residence.  Modiri would later testify that while their initial encounter was not recorded, audio of their second meeting was captured.  In that conversation, Vera can be heard telling Modiri that he had already examined the firearm that was tendered as evidence and that while it was in working condition, he would be able to alter the silencer on the weapon and remove several rounds of ammunition.  This would have been done in an effort to have the case against Modiri dismissed.  Under oath, Modiri also testified that Vera said, “Do not pay me, pay Mr. Bradley.  He will pay me.”   Vera was found guilty of that offense last Thursday and has been on remand since then.  In court today, he appeared during mitigation and several character witnesses were called to speak on his behalf.  He also admitted to criminal wrongdoing and asked the court for leniency.  Despite their testimonies, Vera was denied plea for a non-custodial sentence and instead was given twenty-four months in prison. In the view of the Chief Magistrate, the offense is a very serious nature and even though Vera had no previous conviction, other persons must not feel they could do the same.  The matter is significant because there have been allegations made against Vera in previous instances; however, it is the first time that he was brought before the court on that charge.  Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal says that the offense is grave and that the minimum time given should have been five years in prison.  Likewise, the successful outcome of the matter calls to question the integrity of the National Forensic Science Service in evidence storage.  News Five understands that Vera has applied for Supreme Court bail and will be appearing before Justice Herbert Lord on Friday morning.

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3 Responses for “Forensic Examiner Orlando Vera Gets Two Years for Perverting Justice”

  1. Belizean pride says:

    finally we have one conviction we need more to go also and we’re waiting to see it. Cause we are tired of injustice by the justice system in the Jewel.

  2. Belizean brother says:

    This is a small step towards combating corruption. Reminds me of a few years ago when an ex-employee entered my place of business and stole a lop top computer from my office. Police viewed the surveillance camera where he was caught “red handed” I assisted in setting up a sting operation with police and he was caught with computer in hand, handcuffed and taken to the police station. I had spent so much time in setting up the sting operation, making official reports etc to ensure that he is charged. My intention was to have bind him into attending AA and to get counseling but imagine my surprise when I heard that this guy was out free the next day, like nothing happened. Good sources stated that Police were paid off by family members.

  3. John Henry Browne says:

    Perhaps you can help me find out if a Belize warrant for murder is still in place for Tracy Nessel(McNamara). The ONLY evidence against Tracy was a bogus report done by Orlando Vera, after being bribed by relatives of the deceased, Tim McNamara. Tracy loves Belize and would love to return to her property there. However with the warrant posted she would be arrested. Sorry to bother you with this request but getting no where with Belize officials. Perhaps you could tell me who to contact? Thank you in advance. John Henry Browne Attorney at Law.

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