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Sep 23, 2020

Noel Codd is Arraigned for Prohibited Ammunition

Noel Codd

Six persons, including a minor, were detained for the clandestine landing of a drug plane in Santa Martha Village in Orange Walk.  Today, Noel Codd, the owner of a farm where the plane was found, was arraigned on a single charge of possession of prohibited ammo; in this case, a bullet allegedly found at the farm. Codd was granted bail of five thousand dollars and one surety and is to return to court on October twenty-seventh.  The drug plane landed on Monday and its cargo was not found, but a backhoe owned by a Mennonite farmer and other items were found in the area.  This morning, Isaac Petka was taken to the Corozal, but brought back to the Orange Walk jurisdiction. He is yet to be charged as his attorney wrangles with the cops over a statement he gave without legal representation.  The remaining four other persons have been released.  News Five’s Duane Moody was up north and has the following report. 



Duane Moody, Reporting

Outside the Police Station and the Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk Town today, the relatives of Noel Codd and Mennonite Isaac Petka waited patiently to see if either of the men would have been charged, as inferred by the Commission of Police, for facilitating the landing of a plane in an unregistered aerodrome. This is in connection with a recent suspected drug plane that landed on a farm belonging to Codd several miles outside of Santa Martha Village on the Old Northern Highway. But that did not happen; in fact, this afternoon only Codd was charged with possession of a prohibited ammunition – a single seven point six-two bullet which was purportedly found on the farm.


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney

“The police have been doing their investigations and suddenly they found one round, they claim of ammunition, the calibre of which falls under the firearm act as a prohibited ammunition. That is the charge two and a half days later that Mister Noel Codd is in the Orange Walk Magistrate Court. The prosecutor on behalf of the police department has asked the magistrate not to grant Mister Codd bail and we can tell you why. They are awaiting instructions from Belmopan as to whether to charge Mister Codd and a Mennonite represented by my colleague or Mister Codd for some kind of link with the plane that they believe brought drugs into Belize.”


The charges, says Bradley, came after Codd’s forty-eight hours in police detention had expired. Four other men, including a seventeen-year-old minor and his uncle, Gilbert Hines, who are farmhands at the two-hundred and sixty-two-acre property, were released without charges this morning. But what about Shipyard resident, Isaac Petka? Attorney Marcel Cardona says that he remains in custody pending charges, but that his forty-eight hours expires before the end of the workday today.


Marcel Cardona, Attorney

“All of the other persons have been released, four persons have been released. I must point out that in fact coincidentally, in roughly about an hour and a half, between four-thirty and five actually, forty-eight hours since his original detention on Monday and still no charge.”


On Tuesday, Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams said that there is sufficient evidence gathered so far by investigators to level charges against Codd and Petka.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police [File: September 22nd, 2020]

“We believe that by day end today or by early tomorrow morning, we should be able to charge at least two individuals; that is the owner of the farm and the Mennonite who owns the bulldozer, both of whom we have received reliable information and evidence to suggest that they were on the site when the plane landed. So we believe that we will be able to make an arrest on this instance.”


Attorneys Bradley and Cardona believe that the police department is playing with their clients. Cardona says that today, his client was taken to Corozal and essentially bribed to implicate Codd in exchange for his release from police custody without charges.


Marcel Cardona

Marcel Cardona

“My client has informed me that when I was searching around and I was being informed that he is here and there and all around the station, he had already been whisked off to Corozal to prevent him from being able to have access to his attorney, which is his constitutional right. And so to present him from being represented by his attorney, he was taken to Corozal under the promise that if he gives a statement to the police containing certain information that he would be released free of charges. And number two, that his bulldozer, which represents his life-savings, would be returned to him and it would not be confiscated as the police had threatened him that they had the power to do and could do if he did not give them the statement that they were looking for. Unfortunately in the absence of legal representation, in the absence of his attorney, he caved into the pressure from the police and he gave them the so called statement that they were looking for.”


Duane Moody

“So that statement is to implicate Mister Codd?”


Marcel Cardona

“That is correct.”


That statement, says attorneys Dickie Bradley and Marcel Cardona, has since been repudiated by Petka. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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