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Apr 30, 2003

Police display haul of heavy weapons

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Under pressure for a recent wave of violent crime on one hand and accusations of state sponsored kidnapping on the other, the Police Department today sought to polish their public image with a display of their latest catch of confiscated weaponry. The haul was the result of operations conducted last week and included three M-16s, assorted ammunition and what is believed to be white lime, packaged to look like cocaine. According to police press officer G. Michael Reid, the suspects attached to the arsenal have also been brought in with the guns.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“We have two in particular that came from an operation in Orange Walk, which was taken along with what proved to be fake cocaine; in other words this was powder packaged like cocaine, looks like cocaine, but proved negative when tested for drugs. The other big one out there is the M-16. It was found in a car on the Northern Highway. Mr. Rushiel Bevans has been arrested and charged with keeping a prohibited firearm in that case, along with quite a number of live ammunition. In the other case in Orange Walk, a couple actually, two people by the name of Gardado were arrested for prohibited firearm.”

Janelle Chanona

“Now these look like some pretty heavy artillery. Is the Police Department concerned that the level of firepower out there is this significant? I mean they are on par now with what the B.D.F. officers are walking around with.”

G. Michael Reid

“Certainly the department is concerned and it just gives an idea of what we are faced with out there on the street. There is a lot of firepower there. The police there are equipped to deal with this and certainly are taking a proactive approach at trying to stem the flow of these weapons into the country and try to find the areas where they are and take as many off the street as we can.”

While one of the M-16s is believed to be the property of the Belize Defence Force, it is not one of the two that went missing early this month from the armoury in Ladyville. News 5 understands that even though only a limited number of B.D.F. personnel had access to the storage room, no arrests have been made in connection with the missing guns.

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