General — 26 August 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Police charged two Mile 8 residents for gang-related offenses

BELIZE CITY—Two residents from the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this morning on separate charges for tattoos that police are alleging link them to criminal gangs. The men appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton

Police charged Angel Dorado, 34, for “profess[ing] to belong to a criminal gang,” and Shaquille Baeza, 19, for “displaying gang membership.”

Dorado was the first to be arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to the charge that he had professed to belong to the Bloods Gang.

Panton offered him a $500 bail and one surety in the same amount.

Baeza also pleaded not guilty, but he was unable to access bail because last week, he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who ordered him to do 100 hours of community service and stipulated that he should not be arrested while performing the community service at the Magistrate’s Court building.

Due to the violation of his community service condition, Baeza was sent to the Belize Central Prison, where he has begun serving a two-month sentence, as his 100 hours of community service has ended. (When ordering young offenders to perform community service, Smith usually advises the participant that if the court administrator, to whom they must report, finds their performance satisfactory, and a vacancy arises, they would be considered to fill it.)
Both men are due back in court on October 30, 2014.

Yesterday, Thursday, police searched Dorado’s Mile 8 home, but found nothing incriminating in the house. When they observed two letters, “OG,” tattooed on Dorado’s two arms, however, they charged him with the offense.

“OG” is the acronym for Original Gangster, a street term that has been around for a very long time.

Also yesterday, Baeza showed up for his community service work, but he was not dressed properly and went home, and apparently, police searched him while he was at home and discovered the tattoo.

Shaquille Baeza is the younger brother of Akeem Humes, who has a number of criminal offenses before the court.

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