The San Pedro Sun

The four men accused in Belize’s largest heroin bust are out on bail

The four men accused of being involved in the biggest heroin bust in Belizean history are out on bail. 32-year-old Jose Antonio Lara, fisherman of Julio Street of San Pedro Town; 35-year-old Heider Martin Perez, Accountant of San Pedro Town; 30-year-old Lennon Leonardo Tillett of Belize and 42-year-old Gerardo Allen of Caye Caulker Village all successfully got bail on Friday January 23rd following a ruling by Supreme Court Judge Justice Troadio Gonzalez.
The men were caught at the entrance of Corozal Town in northern Belize on the morning of Tuesday, January 13th. They were arrested by police after authorities searched a vehicle they were allegedly travelling in. Police claim that they found 15 parcels of what appeared to be suspected heroin equivalent to about 40 pounds, and with an estimated street value of $12 million.


On January 14th the four were arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where they were charged for Drug Trafficking of Heroin. Because the case is indictable, they were remanded to the Hattieville Prison.
However, the attorney for the four men, Arthur Saldivar, submitted an application for bail before the Supreme Court of Belize. Initially Saldivar had difficulty securing bail for the men because he wanted the bail hearing to be done jointly. In addition, the bail application was made before the ten working days after the arrest was made. In court, Judge Gonzalez objected to the omission in the affidavits for what the four men had been charged – drugs trafficking. But once that was ironed out, the bail application was heard with arguments submitted by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Following the arguments put before the two sides and despite objection to bail, Judge Gonzalez granted the four men bail on the conditions that they surrender all travel documents and present themselves every Friday before the police in their jurisdiction. They were also instructed to keep away from the witnesses. Justice Gonzalez then set bail in the sum of $50,000, which they were all able to meet.
On the day of their arrest, police conducted a search of their vehicle which was parked in front of a restaurant in Corozal Town; the vehicle had been reported stolen. A search of the vehicle led police to the suspected drugs on the back seat. They also found a licensed firearm belonging to Perez.
The heroin bust is the largest on record in Belize’s history and it was suspected that it was heading outside of the country through Mexico.