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Nov 8, 2021

Four Policemen, two Mennonite Farmers and Several Others Charged in Drug Plane Landing

It was a dramatic event, with a narco plane landing not in a remote patch of ground somewhere in the country’s interior, but right in the middle of the Southern Highway. A shootout ensued between police officers and those meeting the plane. In the hours that followed the incident on Thursday night, several police officers became implicated and weapons from Belize located at the scene. Today, those officers and several other individuals were arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. The officers include: Sergeant George Ferguson, Corporal Elmer Nah, police constables Delwin Casimiro and Nelson Middleton.  Others charged in the case include Mennonites Heinrich Redecop and Johan Wall, and several others. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A slew of charges related to the landing of a drug plane, as well as possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, was brought against eleven individuals.  The arraignment follows an incident on Thursday night during which an aircraft, laden with twenty-five bales of cocaine, touched down on the Southern Highway near Bladen Village.  This afternoon, four policemen were brought up for charges, along with six civilians, including a woman.  Attorney Norman Rodriguez represents Moises Adan Perez, Juan Esparza Sanchez and Armando Martinez.


Norman Rodriguez

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney-at-law

“The main one is possession of controlled drugs with the intent to supply and abatement in relation to the same possession of controlled drugs supplying and the conspiracy to land a plane at an aerodrome without permission from the minister.”


Isani Cayetano

“Okay, describe for us what transpired in court this afternoon, aside from the charges being read, can you give us, perhaps, a synopsis of what took place there?”


Norman Rodriguez

“Yes, there were submissions made by at least three of us, asking for bail for our clients.  I made an application for bail for Moises Adan Perez because there was a doctor’s report or letter citing certain things that relate a heart condition.”


Commissioner of Police Chester Williams describes what took place on Saturday evening when police closed in on two vehicles that were traveling along the Southern Highway near Bella Vista.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“On Saturday night, Independence police were on a checkpoint. And, having received certain information, they attempted to stop two vehicles that were coming from the direction of where the plane had landed. Upon stopping those vehicles, one of the vehicle was occupied by corporal Nah, his wife, his daughter, and another police officer. a search of the vehicle lead to a discovery of one issued nine millimeter pistol and over one hundred point two two three rounds of ammunition. From what we believe, yes those ammunitions are police ammunitions, but Corporal Na is on leave, so he ought not to be in position of the department’s ammunition, particularly in such quantity. Based on that, he was detained. And the investigation based on his involvement in the plane landing was also done.”


That investigation is ongoing and, according to ComPol Williams, it is a joint effort involving the United States’ Drug Enforcement Agency.


Chester Williams

“I had appointed an investigation team which comprises of police officers from the Anti-Narcotics Unit, as well as from Major Crime, and we also have elements of the DEA who are a part of that investigation team because we want to make sure that whatever needs to be done is done. A number of persons have been taken into custody and this morning we laid charges against a number of those persons which includes four police officers. The most senior rank being Ferguson, which is George Ferguson. We also have with him Corporal Elmer Nah, PC Nelson Middleton, and Corporal Casimiro.”


Notwithstanding Rodriguez’s application on behalf of his clients, bail was denied  for all except the woman, who has since been identified as the wife of Corporal Elmer Nah.


Norman Rodriguez

“They will come back on the eight of February if they don’t get bailed by then. But law provides that bail be provided by a judge if the magistrate cannot grant it or refuses to grant it, and that can happen as early as this coming Friday, because bail is heard every Friday. The moment I saw the charge of possession with intent to supply to another and I think there were twelve bails and so many kilograms. Once is above one kilogram, the magistrate cannot grant bail. The magistrate did say that to them immediately. The men have been placed on remand at the Belize Central Prison until their next court date. The inquiry into the matter continues.”


Chester Williams

“Our investigation continues. There are still a number of things that we are trying to get done in collaboration with DEA agents because they would have more resources than we do. I’m not going to say what are those other things that we will be doing, but whatever will be done is being done with a view to ensure that we strengthen our case.”


Isani Cayetano

“How confident are you that the charges being brought to these individuals are airtight?”


Chester Williams

“Well I am not going to go into the strength into the case. Like is said, there are still certain things that we need to get done to make sure we bring the case as tight as we can. And we are hoping to get those things done very quickly. It is my hope that we would prosecute this matter before a court in a short space of time. I don’t want it to prolong.”


Isani Cayetano 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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