Crime — 23 May 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks

Christian Ebanks, 39, businessman of #122 Teacher’s Street in Belize City, busted by GSU with unlicensed 9 mm pistol

A Belize City businessman was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on a firearm offense in the Magistrate’s Court this morning.

Christian Ebanks, 39, a resident of 122 Teacher’s Street, pleaded not guilty to one count of “kept firearm without a gun license” when he was arraigned by Magistrate Dale Cayetano.

Before his arraignment, however, Ebanks asked the police officer who was escorting him to the courtroom if the court reporters had to be present at his arraignment. He would like to “exclude them,” he told the court orderly, as he headed into the courtroom.

In the courtroom, Ebanks appeared to be intimidated by the presence of a camera, although it was not pointed at him. He exclaimed, “I am a Belizean too.”

The policeman told him that members of the media are allowed inside the courtroom, but they cannot take photographs in the court.

After reading the charge to him, Cayetano told an unrepresented Ebanks,” You know I cannot offer you bail.”

Following that statement, Cayetano remanded Ebanks into custody until his next court date on July 21.

The allegation against Ebanks is that yesterday, May 14, Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officers searched his home and came across a .9mm chrome handgun, bearing serial number 508834.

Around 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, GSU Corporal Jian Young and Police Constable Mark Martinez visited Ebanks Teacher’s Street home to execute a search warrant. The GSU had obtained the search warrant to search for illegal drugs, illegal firearms and ammunition.

During the search, the officers found a chrome .9mm pistol that was stashed in the lower section of a Mabe stove in the kitchen of the house.

When asked if he had a gun license, Ebanks told the officers no, so he was arrested.

Outside the court, a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Ebanks was brought to Belize at a very young age, just months old. The source added that he went to Saint Joseph Primary School and left the country when he was in Standard 4, apparently travelling overseas with his guardians.

Upon his return to Belize, Ebanks, the source said, attended Saint John’s College.

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