Crime — 14 March 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks

On Thursday, a Belize City woman was arrested and charged by Hattieville police after prison officials caught her with 12 grams of marijuana inside her underwear; she was attempting to smuggle the weed to her boyfriend, who is on remand at the Belize Central Prison.

Kristy Ramclam, 19, a single mother, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning and pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled drug.

Ramclam broke down in tears before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton fined her $500 plus $5 cost of court. He ordered her to pay $250 forthwith.

Before imposing the fine, Hamilton told Ramclam that she is fortunate that she was not charged with drug trafficking; otherwise, she would be facing a $10,000 fine and a possible three-year prison sentence.

According to Earl Jones, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kolbe-managed Belize Central Prison, the prison has stepped up its security apparatus, thus resulting in the recent spate of busts of females attempting to smuggle marijuana and other prohibited items into the prison.

In the case of Ramclam, Jones said that she was observed on the security monitors while she was in the visitor’s area trying to remove something from inside her underwear. Prison security officers then took her into another room to conduct a search of her person. Ramclam had already passed through the prison’s body scanner and was seated inside the waiting area. The marijuana was found inside her underwear, wrapped in toilet paper.

Just a day before Ramclam was busted, another Belize City woman, Natalie Hamilton, was busted for attempting to smuggle marijuana into the prison to her boyfriend, who is also a remanded prisoner.

The two incidents prompted the prison to issue a press release which states: “These two incidents highlight the increase of drug interception by prison officers within the past month and draws attention to the cleverness and ingenuity of smuggling tactics, especially by females, and the importance of constant vigilance on the part of prison officers.”

The release ends by saying, “Kolbe management reminds the public that it is a criminal offense to attempt to smuggle drugs, weapons, and other restricted items such as cell phones, or SIM cards into the Belize Central Prison.”


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