Friday, April 19, 2024

Three remanded for Jimell Paul Jex’s murder; authorities discuss how to tackle crime on the island


San Pedro Police are steps closer to solving the murder of Jimell Paul Jex following the arrested of 19-year-old Delson Paguada and 45-year-old Timothy Carcamo along with a 15-year-old minor on Friday, January 26th. The trio is accused of being involved in the deadly shooting of Jex and the wounding of his cousin Dion Neal, which occurred on Tuesday, January 23rd. For security reasons they were arraigned on Monday, January 29th in Belize City where they were jointly charged with the crime of ‘Murder.’ Paguada and Carcamo denied the accusations before Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer disputing an eyewitness account that linked the trio to the murder. But based on said evidence, they were all remanded. The minor was sent to the Wagner’s Youth Facility, while both adults were sent to the Belize Central Prison until their next court date on April 27, 2018. Meanwhile, authorities on the island have met with other governmental entities in an effort to create a plan of action to deter any future criminal activities.
Jex was gunned down as has was walking on Crocodile Street at the entrance of the San Pedrito Subdivision in the company of his cousin Neal. His assailants were waiting for him who fired several shots in their direction fatally injuring Jex to his head, while Neal was wound to his lower back. Jex perished on the spot, but Neal survived and was later treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.
According to eyewitnesses they heard as many as five shots and based on an account from main witnesses, the three perpetrators were observed fleeing the area in a boat. They were observed running towards the lagoon side, which is some just feet away from where the shooting took place. Police have indicated that the motive for the murder is the on-going gang rivalry on the island. Jex, who had been traveling back and forth from San Pedro to Belize City since 2014 had several running-ins with the law. His brushes with the police range from murder and drug trafficking, to keeping ammunition without a gun license. The day of his murder, he had just been released from police custody for a drug-related offense. Neal had been held at the police station as well for charges of ‘Damage to Private Property,’ and reportedly they left the Court together to Jex’s home.
The two adults accused of the murder are no strangers to police either. Paguada has allegedly been involved in the drug turf war that has been identified as the cause of the recent crime spike in San Pedro. The situation is believed to have intensified after the murder of Jason Tillett in October 2016 at the entrance of the San Mateo Subdivision. Tillett was gunned down shortly after 6PM. Two days after and at the same location where Tillett was killed, 44-year-old Antonio Pagoada (Delson’s father) was attacked and killed. The incident took place around 11:30PM as Pagoada was heading home from work. Pagoada’s homicide was believed to have been a retaliation to Tillett’s murder.
About six months after in March of 2017, Delson Paguada was almost killed during a shooting incident that left him injured. According to reports, Delson was attacked by one Leroy Goff, who shot him in the right armpit. Goff made attempts to escape but was allegedly shot and subdued by Paguada’s neighbors until San Pedro Police arrived. Later in May of that same year, and unknown assailant let go a barrage of bullets at Paguada’s residence. Paguada’s mother, Amancia Martinez received gunshot wounds to her right upper arm and right side of her abdomen. Martinez was treated for her injuries at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. However, police could not find out who the shooter was.
Then in the month of September, a grenade was thrown on Paguada’s residence yard damaging the staircase of the house. The explosion did not injure anyone but left a large hole in the ground beneath the steps of the residence. It is believed that intended target was Paguada and police detained three persons in their initial investigation, but no one was charged with the offense. Paguada remained under police radar as it was believed that he was in the center of an on-going dispute with potential gang groups. The speculations for Jex’s demise continues to be that he was trying to control the drug business in the San Pedrito Area, thus, he was eliminated.
Regarding Carcamo, he had previously been in police custody for a robbery attempt on island resident Kirian Azueta in January of 2014. According to police, Carcamo was part of a trio that failed in an armed robbery after Azueta defended himself with his licensed gun. In the shooting, one of the robbers, identified as Michael Wallace was killed. At the time, police informed that Azueta had not been detained and they were treating the incident as self-defense.
Jex’s murder was the second for the month of January in San Pedro. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) sent out a press release on Thursday, January 25th expressing their concern for the crime situation on the island. They held a meeting on Saturday, January 27th with representatives from the Belize Police Department, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and elected officials from the SPTC. They discussed the recent shooting incidents and concluded on a plan of action to secure the island, which is the prime tourism destination in the country.
In a press release sent out on Tuesday, January 30th, it was revealed that the different parties involved came up with a plan that is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks. Some of the enforcement includes the re-strategizing the distribution of manpower on the ground that will see more police visibility and quicker responses. They also spoke about allocating additional policing equipment that will improve police response time. The plan also includes the engaging of the community and forming neighborhood watch groups, along with a comprehensive public awareness campaign geared at fostering and building a stronger relationship between citizens, the business community, the SPTC and the Police Department. The discussion also touched on the topic of implementing a boat passenger manifest at all port of entries within the next three months.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a few of the steps to implement these norms will be immediate, while other actions will require additional time for implementation. While the SPTC and the Police Department continue encouraging the general public to get involved in neighborhood watch groups in their respective communities and to report any suspicious activity in their areas.

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