Headline — 30 July 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett and Albert J. Ciego

Even though police found nothing in their house or property, they were charged for drugs, gun and ammo found in neighbouring church roof

On Friday, July 26, 2013, members of the Gang Suppression Unit descended on Victoria Street at the Jones’ residence where a thorough search was conducted on the premises and inside the house.

And although nothing incriminating was found on the Jones’ premises or inside their house, the attention of the GSU was drawn to an adjoining property, where, tucked away in the roof of the building, police found a .38 revolver, (8) 9mm live rounds and five parcels of suspected cannabis which amounted to 619 grams, or 1.36 pounds.

The GSU said that the slugs of the 9mm rounds, which are bigger than the .380 rounds, were all filed and adapted to be fired by the .380 pistol. The find came after 3 hours of an intensive search of the area on Victoria Street.

But the story isn’t so much about what was found, but where it was found – in the roof of a church!

Today, even though nothing incriminating was found at the Jones’ residence, the Jones’ family nevertheless was brought to court facing charges of firearm possession, ammunition possession and drug trafficking, all stemming from the search that was made on Friday.

Frank Jones, 47; Lidia Estrada, 41; Richard Jones, 26; Michael Jones, 21; Dion Jones, 19; and Rick Jones, 18, were all brought before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton and read one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm, two counts of keeping unlicensed ammunition and one count of drug trafficking.

The family, unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and Estrada said, “Deh noh find nothing on our property at all.”

Because of the new law, however, none of them could be offered any bail, and so they all were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 4, 2013, when they are scheduled to reappear in court.

Pastor Suzette Mossiah, of the neighborhood church, said that she was disgusted and disappointed by the actions of the criminals, who, she said, have shown disrespect for the house of God.

A resident of the area who helped to construct the roof of the church told Amandala that he had first placed plycem on the eves, but these were destroyed by the criminals. He had used screws to hold down the material, but the screws were taken out and the plycem destroyed.

He then placed plywood, but the sheets of plywood were taken off, but put back in place; nailing them down, however, attracted the attention of people in the area. The church was next to the fence and removing the material to access the roof was not difficult.

The resident said that he had been called in twice to replace material on the eves, but they were not aware that the criminals were stashing guns and drugs in the roof of the church.

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