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Officers suspended in relation to Plane that landed near Barranco

The plane that landed on a farm near Barranco Village last week Thursday did not come as stealthily as its pilot had hoped. It was being tracked by authorities in Venezuela. The security forces in Belize was informed and kept abreast of the plane as they verified that there was no late night flight scheduled to land in the country, especially at the Pletts farm. Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that the Police Department deployed officers into different locations across the country and waited for the plane to land. Two officers PC Peter Graham and PC John Ordonez have been suspended from duty in relation to this case.

ACP Chester Williams, Belize Police Department: “About around 10PM thereabout we received information that a plane was on the ground at Plett’s Airstrip or Plett’s Farm in the Barranco area; that is about three miles from Barranco and we quickly deployed elements of the anti narcotics unit as well as BSAG to the location where the plane was found. It is a single engine plane, similar to the one that was found in the Blue Creek area a couple months ago. Upon inspection of the plane we found out that it had no contents. A vehicle was seen not too far from the area where the plane was found and that vehicle was stopped and inside the vehicle was a police officer and a civilian. Inspection of that vehicle revealed one blue fifteen gallon which contained fuel and a seat; the seat was observed to be of similar type and material as that of the plane. The two individuals were taken into custody and police conducted further investigations which led to the detention of two other police officers, all of whom are posted in the Toledo district along with other civilians. They were kept in custody and interviewed however up to yesterday when they were released, we had not obtained sufficient evidence to be able to levy charges on either of the detainees. Today we suspended from duty PC Peter Graham and PC John Ordonez pending the outcome of the investigation. As I have put together an investigative team comprising of major crimes, anti narcotics unit, professional standards branch and special branch who will be tasked to vigorously pursue the investigation and when that investigation is over then we will see who will be charged if any. However the police officers who are being suspended will face disciplinary charges between now and Monday. After they have been charged disciplinarily then they will go on interdiction.”