Crime — 13 August 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego

Police Constable Darrel Gilbert Swazo, 29, attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s office in Belize City, and another man, Herbie Edison Moriera, 30, of Ladyville, have been released on bail of $5,000 each and ordered to return to court on September 3 after they were arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today on charges of drug trafficking.

Swazo was busted with 4 pounds of weed, allegedly found in the trunk of his car at about 2:45 Friday evening at a roadblock operated by San Ignacio police in Santa Elena. Allegedly along with Swazo at the time was Moreira.

San Ignacio police said that when they intercepted the car, which was driven at the time by PC Swazo, they searched the trunk of the car and found a black, grey and yellow bag containing about 4 pounds of cannabis.

Police immediately arrested the men and charged them jointly with drug trafficking. They were held at the San Ignacio Police Station, and since no magistrate was available at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, the men were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Branker Taitt Vidal, told reporters that her office was shocked at the report, because Swazo should have been in Belize City looking for a witness for a Crown Counsel.

It came as a huge surprise to everyone in the office, she said, that he was caught in Cayo in that situation. She has spoken to the head of the prosecution branch to make sure that no one from her office is involved in the prosecution of the case. Crown Counsels are not to be involved in the prosecution of PC Swazo, because it is a police case, to be handled by the police, and not by the office of the DPP.

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