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Self employed businesswoman convicted of drug trafficking Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 June 2017 00:00

A Belize City businesswoman was convicted for the offense of drug trafficking for 14.6 grams of crack cocaine and for possession of a controlled drug, 0.2 grams of cannabis, before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on June 21, 2017. That woman is 42-year-old Michelle Gotoy of Belize City.

The bust was made on December 6, 2016 at the corner of Honda and Sibun Streets in Belize City. Allegations made by the crown are that police found her in possession of both illegal substances despite her version of the story. She admitted to being in possession of the cannabis but as it relates to the crack cocaine, she claims to have no knowledge of that.

Gotoy had been remanded into custody pending sentencing but got lucky when her relatives sought legal defense from attorney Alifah Elrington Hyde to mitigate on her behalf. Elrington-Hyde requested an adjournment and was granted the adjournment until June 22, 2017. Gotoy was remanded into custody.

After being called to the stand, Cpl. Kent Martinez testified that he and WPC Zetina were conducting a mobile patrol on Hondo Street when his attention was drawn to a woman who was acting suspiciously. As a result, WPC Zetina and he approached the woman. Both testified that they saw the woman, later identified as Michelle Gotoy, holding her hand in a fist. WPC Zetina asked Gotoy to open her hands which revealed a transparent plastic bag which contained 15 small foil paper wraps. WPC Zetina then told her that she would conduct a search inside a bag she was carrying and inside, she found a small transparent plastic bag containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis.

She was then escorted to the Euphrates Avenue police station where both contents were weighed in her presence and she was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug.

At the end of the trial, Gotoy claimed that the small amount of weed was hers and denied any knowledge of the crack cocaine. She also said that she only signed the envelope because she was told she had to do so.