Two persons detained in north Ambergris Caye keeping firearms without gun license

Monday, October 16th, 2023


On Saturday, October 14th, San Pedro Police detained 29-year-old Emmanuel Marcos Garcia and 37-year-old Walter Antonio Lopez after they were found with an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Police spotted them while on a patrol ten miles north of San Pedro Town. The pair were brought to the San Pedro Police Station, where they were jointly charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license.
The police report states that the San Pedro North Operation Unit was conducting patrols on the island’s northern coast on Saturday when they observed a small boat by the seaside. As they approached, the team noticed a male person jumping off the vessel and running toward the bushes while holding a bag. Police say they set chase and saw the person throwing the bag in the nearby bushes before running into the sea. This attempt to evade police was unsuccessful, and he was apprehended and escorted back to the area where he was seen throwing the bag.
Police retrieved the bag and found a 12-gauge Mossberg Pump Action shotgun with two live 12-gauge cartridges inside. He was identified as Emmanuel Marcos Garcia, a Belizean caretaker living near the area of the apprehension. Walter Antonio Lopez, a construction worker living in northern Ambergris Caye who was seen in the boat with Garcia, was also detained.
Both men were informed of the offense committed and escorted to the police station in downtown San Pedro where they were later charged. The 12-gauge Mossberg Pump Action shotgun and the two live 12-gauge cartridges were sealed and labeled as Exhibit.
.223 caliber rifle was also found as part of the operation
On the same day, police also discovered a weapon identified as a .223 rifle of the Olympic brand, often used by the military in Northern Ambergris Caye. The rifle was found with a magazine containing 23-bronze in color FC brand 5.56 live rounds. No one was in the area, so the rifle was taken to the police station, sealed, and labeled as found property.

The police report said the patrol team departed the forward operating base on the island’s northern side around 6AM. The area of search was by the Bacalar Chico National Park, where around 11AM, the team received information of an area along the beach suspected to be a stash spot for beachcombers who look for washed-up drugs. The officers headed to the location and found a black cloth bag under some grass. Inside the bag, the officers found a .223 Olympic-brand rifle with serial number #BT3217. The weapon also had a magazine with 23 live rounds.
Police plan to continue their hard work and increase their presence in the area and other spots on the island to deter these illegal activities. The place where the rifle was found is considered to be frequented by beach walkers, also known as ‘Playadores.’ These people, usually on information, wander along the island’s northern coast searching for ‘wet drops,’ drugs that wash ashore. Unconfirmed reports indicate that specific individuals sometimes use weapons to claim their territory along these remote areas where illicit activities involving drugs and illegal handling of firearms reportedly occur.
Northern Ambergris Caye, particularly in the isolated areas, has been a zone for these activities over the past years. The San Pedro Police Formation is aware of this issue and says they will continue increasing their presence and tackling these illegal activities across the island.
Persons are encouraged to report any suspicious activities or persons in their neighborhood to the San Pedro Police Formation by calling telephone number 206-2022 or visiting them on Pescador Drive. Confidentiality guaranteed.


 

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