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Feb 19, 2016

Coastguard Busts Trio of Fishermen with Illegal Lobster Tails

Raymond Petzold

While on patrol on Crayfish Caye, Turneffe atoll, the Belize Coastguard made a bust this morning for the Fisheries Department. Three men from Belama Phase Two, Belize City were found in possession of two hundred and forty-three lobster tails which is a violation since the lobster season is closed.  By this afternoon at two, Fisheries Prosecutor Hampton Gamboa escorted George Marin, Angel Tun and Raymond Petzold to court.  The trio appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers and were jointly charged with the possession of lobster in the closed season.  Initially, all three men pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail was offered in the sum of one thousand dollars each. But Marin asked for permission to speak and told the court that Fisheries personnel had threatened to destroy their traps so they kept the lobsters and placed them on ice and that is when they were busted. But within less than a half hour later, the men were escorted back into court where one of the three changed his plea.  Petzold told the court that he does not have time to be coming back and forth to court on the matter and when he pleaded guilty to the charge, Gamboa withdraw the charges against Marin and Tun. The magistrate then imposed a fine of five hundred dollars and an additional twenty dollars for each lobster which means Petzold has to pay an overall total of five thousand three hundred and sixty-six dollars by June thirtieth, 2016.

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