It was unfortunate that it took a series of murders and assaults early in the year for island officials in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, to take more action and reach out to the community who has been crying for more trust and assistance from the Police Department. The good news is that the San Pedro Police Department has put into action a few operations that will kick start their energies into fighting crime on the island.
Just last week, on the wake of the tragic death of a two-year-old boy, an intense sweep of the island took place which produced positive results in multiple arrests for criminal offenses ranging from drug trafficking and firearm possession to attempted murder.
The crackdown led to the arrest of 21-year-old Deshawn Goff who was charged for the Attempted Murder of 13-year-old Meredith Escalante with additional charges of Dangerous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm. It is believed that Goff’s intended target was Rolando Espat Sr. who resides in an apartment next door. To date, the case of the second shooting which involved Espat two weeks later remains open. During that incident Espat’s 2-year-old son was killed while his wife was injured during the shooting.
10 Charged for Firearm Offences
And as officials and personnel brought into the island continue with their sweeps, 51-year-old Peter Moses Hernandez (Campos) and nine others, all residents of the San Juan Area, have been arrested and charged jointly for the offenses of kept firearm (.22 Taurus pistol) without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license. The gun contained eight rounds of ammunition and an additional box containing 15 live rounds of ammo was also found.
This raid resulted in the apprehension of an unlicensed firearm and eight rounds of matching ammunition. The Hernandez family is a notorious one on the island and arraigned were Marciana Campos (26yrs), Teresita Cordova (23yrs), Guadalupe Gonzalez (48yrs), Victor Vasquez (42yrs), John Arana (52yrs), Michael Edwards (30yrs), Juan Gomez (27yrs), Laura Trapp and Pedro Campos (25yrs).
The group was taken to Belize City where the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) escorted to the Central Prison in Hattieville.