Headline — 25 May 2019 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Charges against alleged “cocaine cowboys” dismissed a second time

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 23, 2019– A submission of autrefois acquit, which means that a defendant should not be tried for the same offence twice, that was made by attorney Ellis Arnold in the case of 37-year-old Peter Schmidt, accused of possession of 5.7 kilograms of cocaine, was upheld today by Magistrate Michelle Trapp, and the charges against Schmidt and Carlos Lopez, who didn’t appear in court because he could not be found, were dismissed.

Apart from possession of cocaine, Schmidt and Lopez were charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license.

It was the second time that the two were charged with the offences. On December 18, 2017, they were arraigned in the #2 Magistrate’s Court on the charges, to which they pleaded not guilty. A trial date was set for August 6, 2018, but on that date, none of the witnesses for the prosecution, who were police officers, showed up, and the charges were dismissed.

In August last year, police reinstated the charges, but only Schmidt was arrested and brought to court. Lopez, as we mentioned before, apparently could not be located.

Schmidt and Lopez were arrested and charged in December 2017 following a police operation in Buttonwood Bay in which they intercepted an SUV that contained 5.7 kilograms of cocaine in a knapsack on the back seat of the vehicle and one 9 millimeter pistol with one round of ammunition.

Schmidt and Lopez were the occupants of the vehicle.

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