An Iranian man and three women were formerly arrested and charged earlier today for firearm offences. This was after police intercepted a vehicle on Saturday May 2nd on the Humming Bird Highway in the St. Margaret’s Area, Cayo. Driving the vehicle was 57 year old retiree Michael Modiri, a dual citizen of USA and Iraq. Superintendent Howell Gillett told us more.
“This happened on Saturday mornin, that passe, in the Saint Margaret’s area in the Cayo District. A joint Police and BDF checkpoint intercepted a vehicle, a Toyota Tacoma, driven at the time by one Michael Modiri. He is an Iranian – American man. He was the driver and he was accompanied by three others namely; Belario Mendez, Jessica Milliian and Celina Millian. All three persons were charged with kept unlicensed ammunition, kept unlicensed firearm as well as kept prohibited material because the gun possessed a sound suppresser, locally known as a silencer.”
57 year old Michael Modiri, of Belmopan, along with 40 year old Belario Mendez, 23 year old Jessica Millian, and 20 year old Celina Millian, all of Cotton Tree Village, were formerly arraigned in court today for kept firearm without a gun license, kept live rounds of ammunition, and kept prohibited material, namely a gun sound suppressor. All four pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded to prison until August 4th 2015. The Nephew of Belario Mendez says his aunt was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He claims his aunt chartered a ride to the hospital to sign a document for her son who is in need of surgery outside of the country. She never reached the hospital.
“Anyone, once there family gets into problem, wants to … they wanted to thief the child’s bike and they chopped his face. They charter the car, when you feel like you have to do something, you charter the best car they had. The bad thing is, that the police should at least let the lady sign the papers for her son to go out the country. I say in my time, God will take care of this and He is sure what’s happening at this moment. I feel very bad for the family because it’s a apart of my family too. At least let the lady see her son but they never gave her time to see her son.”
In September 2014, the Government introduced two new laws at the National Assembly in response to public outcry against what has been dubbed the draconian provisions of Firearms Act and Crime Control and Prevention Act introduced in 2008 and 2010. The amended act sought to address situations where innocent people are rounded up by police because an illegal firearm is found in their near vicinity. Michel Chebat is the attorney for Michael Modiri. Kaittlin Louis is the attorney representing Belario Mendez Jessica Millian and Celina Millian, of Cotton Tree Village.