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Nov 10, 2016

Family of 7 to Jail for Half Pound of Weed

Karen Almendarez

Fifty-year-old Karen Almendarez, her six children and daughter-in-law were all arraigned today for drug trafficking after being busted with a half pound of cannabis at their residence on Electric Avenue.  On Wednesday morning, Belize City police conducted a search of the premises and discovered a quantity of weed in the yard which resulted in multiple arrests.  In court, the group appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where thirty-one-year-old Roberto Montejo, a close friend of the family, initially pleaded guilty to the charge.  He later changed his plea, admitting that the only quantity of drug he was aware of was the small amount found in his possession at the time of the search.  Montejo also confessed that he was forced into taking the rap for the marijuana.  Magistrate Mendoza rejected his guilty plea before entering an equivocal plea of not guilty and adjourning the matter.  Bail was subsequently offered in the sum of two thousand dollars each, plus one surety of the same amount.  Montejo and twenty-eight-year-old Darnell Almendarez both owed the court for previous convictions and while they were still granted bail, were not released from custody until the fines were paid in full.  Everyone else, including a female minor, met bail.  The group returns to court on January ninth, 2017.

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