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Bladen 12 drug-plane trial adjourned for February 5

HighlightsBladen 12 drug-plane trial adjourned for February 5

Photo: George Ferguson, former escort for DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal prior to his 2021 arrest.

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 29, 2024

12 men from various parts of Belize, including at least three law enforcement officers of the Belize Police Department as well as members of the Mennonite Community, are to be tried on several offenses in connection with an alleged drug plane landing that occurred back in November of 2021, more than 2 years ago.

The case was before the court today as it was set for trial to commence; however, delays in the CMC (Case Management Conference) for interdicted Police Officer, Cpl. George Ferguson forced the court to adjourn the trial to February 5 through to the 20th. That’s because the Crown, represented by Head of Prosecution Branch, Alifah Elrington, has sixty witnesses she intends to rely on.

The Senior Magistrate of Court #6 adjourned the matter, but proceeded with the CMC against George Ferguson. That CMC kicked off at around 11:17 a.m. and by 12 noon it had concluded.

At the CMC, Ferguson was represented by attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley.

The Bladen 12 are Armando Martinez, 43; Moises Adan Perez, 33; Juan Esparza Sanchez, 49; Heinrich Redecop, 39; Johan Wall, 45; Fredy Orlando Gongora, of the Mennonitte Community, 38; Adonis Campos, 28; and Efrain Cano, 37; along with interdicted police officers, Delwin Casimiro, 36; Nelson Middleton, 28; George Ferguson, 37; and former police officer, Elmer Nah, 40

The group is charged jointly with 2 counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, one count of conspiracy to land a plane at an unlicensed aerodrome, and one count of abetment of the importation of a controlled drug.

It is alleged that the group of 12 and others were found on November 4, 2021, on the Southern Highway, Toledo District, in possession of 763.68 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of supplying it to another person or persons for drug trafficking.

In late 2023 George Ferguson was read additional charges for possession of prohibited ammunitions, kept ammunitions without a gun license, and possession of prohibited firearm.

The attorneys representing the men are Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Leeroy Banner, Oscar Selgado and Lyndon Jones; however, only Bradley and Selgado were present in court today, as Selgado held brief for attorneys Leeroy Banner and Lyndon Jones.

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