General — 02 June 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
19 persons caught illegally crossing western border

SAN IGNACIO, Cayo Distyrict, Thurs. May 31, 2018– Twelve adults and seven children, who were coming from the direction of Calla Creek, which is near the western border, were stopped at a checkpoint on Bullet Tree Road. Police discovered that they had crossed the border illegally and were from various Central American countries.

On Tuesday, May 29, the twelve adults appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. One of those persons, Richard McDougal, who was in the company of the Central Americans and who was allegedly facilitating their entry into Belize, pleaded guilty to 19 counts of facilitating the commission of an offense. He was fined $19,000, which he must pay by August 31. So far he has paid $3,000.

The illegal immigrants were charged with illegal entry and were fined $1,000 each. They were sent to prison and their respective embassies have been contacted.

The seven children have been released into the custody of the Social Services Department.

The immigrants told police that they were planning to go from the western border to the northern border, in order to eventually go to Houston and New York in the US.

We attempted to contact the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, as well as the Officer in Charge of the San Ignacio Police Station, to get more information on the immigrants, but were unsuccessful.

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