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Sep 13, 2018

2 Mexicans & 3 Belizeans, including Senior Officer, Arraigned for Blue Creek Drug Bust

Three Belizeans and two Mexican nationals were arraigned in court this morning on charges relating to a drug plane that landed on September eleventh in Tres Leguas, near Blue Creek, Orange Walk District.  The cargo was one thousand two hundred and twenty-six pounds of cocaine, with a value of fourteen million dollars.  The arraignment took place before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. The most senior in the group is Commanding Officer of the Orange Walk formation, Superintendent David Chi, who it is alleged led the operation to land the single engine Cessna that originated from Venezuela. He is also the highest ranking officer to be implicated in a drug seizure of this magnitude.  Along with Police Constable Norman Anthony and Peter Friesen Junior, Chi was the last to exit the court room.  Friesen’s mother and other family members of the group waited outside the courtroom as the men filed out.  Anthony was released on Tuesday night and within twenty-four hours, on Wednesday night around ten o’clock; he was picked up and then hauled to court.  News Five’s Duane Moody has the details of the arraignment.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Around eleven-thirty this morning, five persons: three Belizeans and two Mexicans, including a senior officer of the Belize Police Department were hauled to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, under heavy police guard, and charged in connection with the illegal landing of a drug plane in Tres Leguas, near Blue Creek, Orange Walk. The men were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford after which bail was denied and they were remanded to the Central Prison in Hattieville until November first when they are to re-appear in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred.

 

Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for Peter Friesen Jr.

“Five persons who have been charged; there are four charges of which two are new, have just been added where a senior police officer who was in charge of the Orange Walk Police jurisdiction has now been charged. The police officer who the country was told was not going to be charged and would have been put on police interdiction and taken to a police tribunal has been charged.”

 

Azariaz Manzano & Eli Figueroa Nunez

The men are identified as: Eli Figueroa Nunez, a thirty-one-year-old who claims to be a businessman from Campeche, Mexico; Azariaz Manzano, a twenty-year-old farmhand from Quintana Roo, Mexico. And Belizeans: Peter Friesen Junior, a thirty-two-year-old carpenter of Blue Creek Village as well as Police Constable Norman Anthony, a Lemonal resident, stationed at the Blue Creek Police substation and Commanding Officer at the Orange Walk Police Station, Superintendent David Chi. All five were charged with abetment to importation of a controlled drug for purposely facilitating the importation of cocaine to Belize. Chi, Anthony, Friesen and others were also charged for conspiracy to land a plane at an unlicensed aerodrome. Mexican nationals, Nunez and Manzano, were additionally charged with drug trafficking. As it relates to the crime of abetment, it is believed that other persons will be charged.

 

Peter Friesen Jr.

Dickie Bradley

“The additional charges; the police originally charged persons—two Mexicans and one Belizean from Blue Creek had been charged for importing the drugs into Belize and for drug trafficking. And now the additional charges are that it is abetment to import the drugs into Belize and that has been levied against police officer Norman Anthony and senior officer David Chi. And the police have also charged conspiracy to land a plane at an airstrip which is not licensed for landing planes. And Norman Anthony and David Chi along with Mister Peter Friesen have been charged for that other. I think one of you pointed out that on the charge sheet for abetment to bring in the plane, the persons who are charged are also charged along with others, so the police are probably looking for others.”

 

Norman Anthony

It is a historic case because it is the first time that a senior officer at the rank of superintendent has been charged for having been involved in a fourteen-million-dollar drug bust. What came as a surprise, however, was that PC Anthony, who the Commissioner of Police announced would not have been charged was re-arrested on Wednesday night and slapped with multiple charges. His attorney is Leeroy Banner.

 

Leeroy Banner, Attorney for Norman Anthony

“He was been charged with two counts of like you rightly mentioned, but I wouldn’t want to say anything at this time because the matter is before the court and I think it would be unfair to say what I want to say.”

 

Leeroy Banner

Reporter

“Have the police provided any sort of details to substantiate these charges as yet?”

 

Leeroy Banner

“No, no. Not as yet. But the matter is pretty much new, so hopefully before the day is done or before next week, we will get something to indicate why he has been charged but so far nothing as yet.”

 

Duane Moody

“When were you guys notified of this?”

 

David Chi

Leeroy Banner

“About ten last night.”

 

But according to Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, even as Anthony was released, the investigation continued into the crime and there was enough evidence uncovered for charges to be proffered against him.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“At that particular juncture, we had no evidence, sufficient enough for us to have been able to lay charges against him. But as you know the investigation was still ongoing and his forty-eight-hour period was up. And so as the investigation progresses, we obtained additional information and based on that, he was re-detained and charged this morning. We do have evidence and whenever the matter goes to trial we will be marshalling those evidence before the court and it will be a matter for the court to decide his guilt or innocence.”

 

Reporter

“Is it expected that there will be other persons who will be charged—either within the police department or outside the police department?”

 

Chester Williams

“The investigation is still ongoing and if it is that evidence should manifest itself as to the involvement of any other individual—whether police or not—then we will follow the evidence wherever it takes us.”

 

Today outside the courtroom, the relatives and friends of the accused narco-traffickers stood watch as their loved ones were placed in cuffs and carted away in the heavily tinted police van; they were briefly be taken to the Queen Street Police Station, before they were further transported to the Central Prison where they will spend their first night behind bars. While those for the Mexican nationals denied comment, a tearful Maria Friesen spoke out in defence for her son.

 

Maria Friesen, Mother of Peter Friesen Jr.

“My heart is broken right now for my son; I love too much my sons, I have two and one daughter. But my heart is broken. My grandsons and his wife are waiting for their dad.”

 

Maria Friesen

Duane Moody

“Ma’am, but what was he doing out there?”

 

Maria Friesen

“I don’t know. I don’t know because he is a working guy, a decent guy. He never had problems with the law, with nothing.”

 

Duane Moody

“Do you know of his whereabouts on Sunday because police are saying that they detained him out there after two that morning, on Sunday morning?”

 

Maria Friesen

“No, I can’t say that because I don’t know.”

 

Reporter

“Has he or any member of your family ever been criminally charged before ma’am?”

 

Maria Friesen

“No sir. No. never.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

A few minutes after four o’clock this evening, a group of Mexican nationals was detained in Belize City under the suspicion that they might be connected to the recent drug plane landing. According to reports, four men, including two attorneys, parked their white pickup truck with Mexican license plate in front of It Store on Queen Street. We have confirmed that the men entered the store under the pretense that they were buying. The police were tipped off and the men were arrested and are currently being detained at Queen Street Police Station. A few minutes ago, the vehicle they were in was being impounded by police. We will keep following this story.

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1 Response for “2 Mexicans & 3 Belizeans, including Senior Officer, Arraigned for Blue Creek Drug Bust”

  1. Marie says:

    Please keep us up to date on these criminals. Attorney, superintendent and all, bunch of low lives trying to kill your children for a quick $$$.

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