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Attorney for woman charged with drug offence says she was set up

Twenty-seven year old Shayanne Castro, the wife of Wasani Castro, was arraigned for the charge of drug trafficking today. According to Police, early on Saturday night, the Special Assignment Team searched Castro’s residence on Sarstoon Street in Belize City. Inside, officers found two large parcels of marijuana. They first found a black garbage bag containing 11,900 grams of marijuana.  A further search led officers to a knapsack that contained 128 grams of marijuana. In total the drug weighed twenty-six and a half pounds.   But there is a twist to the story, Castro’s family is saying that she was baited and bribed by members of the Special Assignment Team. This allegation is being denied by the Belize Police Department but the family says they have a recording to prove it. They hired the services of attorneys Richard Bradley and Marcel Cardona. Cardona explained how it went down:

Attorney Marcel Cardona

“I am aware that there are recordings- that there are tapes that do prove that indeed the police department or officials from the police department sought to broker a deal with the family members whereby they were in the interest of security etc they were asking that one, knowing that Shayanne Castro had indeed been baited by them to that residence because she was not living at that residence she lives in Maskall Village and number two she was in the vicinity approaching the area to go and pay a visit to her family in the area and the police then baited her and put, quite illegally not having found anything in her possession when she was a couple blocks away commanded her to get into the police vehicle and then took her to the residence and instructed her to open the residence and upon opening the residence that is where the whole scenario arises where they are claiming that she was in possession of whatever.”

According to Cardona, Castro did what she was told to do. And what she was told do was help officers locate firearms so that she would not be charged. However she was still charged and arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser this morning.

Attorney Marcel Cardona

“My client being the law abiding citizen that she is compiled, abided with their instructions and here we are. Thereafter of course the police realizing that indeed this poor girl is a victim of the media frenzy that happens in Belize from time to time there is certainly a media frenzy because of the surname that she is associated with. The police then proceeded to enter into discussions with her through her attorney as to the possibility of is she were able to through her friends and family and associates if she were able to assist the police in putting off the streets a number of items that are used regularly to commit crimes and even murders, if she were able to assist to get these things off the street they were be prepared to consider just moving on — because they know for a fact that she does not live at that residence and they know for a fact that she was only visiting and they baited her they were in fact seeking to bait her husband also. They kept on telling the husband to come in and see his wife and the husband said in no uncertain terms no. He was highly suspicious of their cordiality and their trying to invite him to come onto the premises to charge him with the same charges that they put on the wife at this point in time. So we are confident that our client is not guilty of the crime of which she has been charged with and when her day in court arrives I feel confident that she is going to be able to avail herself of all her legal defenses and be able to prove her innocence at that point in time.”


“Have you listened to these recordings yourself?”

Attorney Marcel Cardona

“Yes I have listened to them but I as I mentioned I am still in discussion with my colleague to jointly decide on what will be our approach in this matter.”

Castro pled not guilty to the charge. She was offered a bail of nine thousand dollars with one or two sureties of four thousand five hundred dollars each, which she met. She is to return to court on December 22. Castro must surrender all travel documents to the court. If she wants to leave the country she must first seek the permission of the court.