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Fresh Fruit Vendor pleads guilty to unlicensed gun and ammunition

At 1:30 p.m. on September 9, thirty-three-year-old Darren Dawson fruit salad vendor was stopped in his car by detective constable Andrew Bernard on North Creek Road in Belize City. He shook Dawson’s pants and a .25 Beretta pistol fell to the ground. When he retrieved the pistol and inspected it he found that it contained 2 live rounds of ammunition in its magazine. Dawson was then charged with having a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. He changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. Before she sentenced him, she heard a plea for mitigation from Dawson. Dawson said he is the sole breadwinner for his two children, one of whom is going to high school and the other a student of a primary school. He said he just recently began to walk again because he has a metal plate in his leg after he was shot and left crippled Because he pleaded guilty and he saved the court time, Senior Magistrate Ford imposed a fine, instead of a custodial sentence. She fined him $2,500 for the firearm and $600 for the ammunition. She gave him until September 30 to pay the $2,500 and she told that if he defaults on payment he will serve 2 years. She gave him until March 19 to pay the $600. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months.