Trio face major jail time and fines for drug trafficking

Three men, two of whom have previous convictions for drug offences, face a heavy fall in relation to another bust of drug trafficking in the Cayo District for which they were convicted last week.  35 year old Richard Smith,  30 year old Kent Nunez and 29 year old Jason Philips were found with 17, 233 grams of cannabis on March 16, 2011, in a big bulky plastic bag which the men were seen trying to put in a vehicle by Police and an Immigration Official. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith fined Smith $15,000 and sent him to jail for three years. He will serve another three years consecutively he cannot pay $3,000 out of the $15,000 fine by August 30 and the balance due by March 30, 2016. Nunez was fined $10,000 and Philips $11,000 and given similar terms of payment and jail sentences. The incident took place on the George Price Highway between miles 74 and 75 near the western border. According to a police constable stationed at the border he looked toward Benque Viejo and saw the vehicle parked on the side of the road also facing Benque and two persons walkin on the road with the bag. The officer sought assistance from an immigration officer and they set out toward the vehicle, in time to see the man carrying the bag put it in the trunk of the car and both men then get inside, sitting with a third person identified as the driver.  Benque police were called in and a search was conducted resulting in the recovery of the bag containing the drugs. The car was forfeited to the Government of Belize.

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