Headline — 30 January 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
Cop and accomplices busted with BZ$448,000 worth of cocaine

DANGRIGA, Thurs. Jan. 29, 2015–Corporal Martin Mas, of Belmopan police, was busted with 2,800 grams of cocaine, valued at approximately $448,000. Mas, 37, of Belmopan, was along with three other men — Pedro Sho, 27, of Corozal Town; Tom Martinez, 41, of Bullet Tree, Cayo District; and Bernard Che, 38, a taxi driver of Belmopan.

They were all charged with drug trafficking.

The incident occurred at about 8:00 Tuesday night at a roadblock at Mile 18 on the Hummingbird Highway in the village of Steadfast.

Dangriga police said that they intercepted a car that was travelling to Belmopan from Dangriga, because they had received information that the car was transporting cocaine, north to Mexico.

The four men were travelling in a 4-door Toyota Corolla taxi when it was intercepted at the entrance of the single-lane bridge on the route to Steadfast leading to Belmopan, where the road converges at the entrance to the bridge.

The car was stopped and the four men were ordered out of the car. Police said that the men were searched, but nothing illegal was found on them. Police then searched the car, in their presence, and underneath the driver’s seat and front passenger seats, police found two parcels that were wrapped in black plastic bags.

The two parcels were shown to the four men, and when the packages were opened in their presence, police found cocaine, which was shown to the men. The cocaine weighed 2,800 grams. The men were arrested immediately and taken to the Dangriga Police Station, where they were charged with drug trafficking.

At about 3:00 yesterday afternoon, Corporal Mas and his group were all taken to the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court, where they were arraigned. No bail was offered and they were all remanded to jail until March 27.

Information to us is that Corporal Mas will also be taken to the police court known as the police tribunal, where he will stand trial for breaching police codes and protocol.

Online sources indicate that cocaine retailed in the United States is sold at $60 to $80 per gram, and at that rate the value of the 2,800 grams of cocaine could be as much as BZ$448,000.

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