|Prison Officer pleads guilty to drug trafficking|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 16 September 2010 00:00|
At 7:50a.m. on Tuesday September 14, Hattieville police responded to a call that a prison officer at the Hattieville prison had been found with cannabis. When they arrived, Grade I Prison Officer Victor Aguilar reported that prison officer Armando Alamilla, 33, had been found with a black and grey knapsack which contained five parcels containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Alamilla was later escorted to the Hattieville Police Station with the suspected cannabis which was weighed in his presence, amounting to 84 grams of marijuana.
As a result of the discovery, Alamilla was arraigned in Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Dorothy Flowers where he pleaded guilty to the charge of drug trafficking. His guilty plea came despite the fact that he was explained by the magistrate what the penalty of the offense was. Nevertheless, Alamilla pleaded guilty and it was not after he was being sentenced that he appeared uncertain of what he had just pleaded guilty to.
When asked what he had to say in mitigation, Alamilla, who appeared nervous as his hands were shaking, asked the magistrate to please grant him bail so he could go home. It was at that point that the magistrate explained to him that she would sentence him and that bail is not an issue and that he was looking at three years plus a $10,000 fine. Since he had no previous conviction for drug trafficking however, Magistrate Flowers was able to use the proviso that allows a Magistrate to use her discretion in passing sentence upon a first time offender and imposed a non custodial sentence on him. As such, he was spared from going to jail for three years when he was only fined $10,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court. He has until January 31, 2011 to pay the fine.