High speed chase leads to drug bust and $10,000 fines Print E-mail
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Thursday, 27 July 2017 00:00

Patrick Petillo, a 23-year-old Belize City resident of Lovely Lane, is in debt to the court but lucky to be home after he took the rap for a large amount of weed found inside an SUV. While the SUV is owned by him, it was being driven by another man, Ronald Michael, at the time of the bust.

Petillo, along with well-known individual, 28-year-old Ronald Michael, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, July 24, 2017 where they were charged jointly with one count of drug trafficking. Michael has been before the court on numerous charges, including drug trafficking.

According to police, the duo was found in possession of 4,160.0 grams of cannabis on July 22, 2017 in the vicinity of Central American Boulevard. The bust was only made after a high speed chase which began on the Phillip Goldson Highway and ended in the city.

PC Edwin Reid and PC Alexis Banner were conducting a mobile patrol when they received information of a Nissan Murano trafficking drugs. They made their way on to the highway where they saw a vehicle that fit the description. A high speed chase ensued and the vehicle was intercepted on Central American Boulevard.

A search was conducted on driver, Michael, and passenger, Petillo after they were ordered to exit the vehicle. Nothing incriminating was found on the men. The SUV was then searched where a school bag was found containing 4 parcels of marijuana. As a result, the men were escorted to the police station.

At the station, a thorough inspection of the vehicle led to the discovery of more marijuana inside the left and right wheels of the vehicle. All parcels were weighed and were found to have a total weight of 4,160.6 grams.

Before the magistrate, Petillo pleaded guilty to the charge. Although Petillo took the fall, Michael could not escape prosecution. This is because the police are of the view that Michael was aware of the drugs being in the vehicle. As a result, he was granted bail of $5,000 plus one surety of the same. He is due back in court on September 28, 2017.

Petillo was fined the mandatory amount of $10,000 and was ordered to pay $2,000 by July 28, 2017 and the balance by December 31, 2017, in default of 3 years’ imprisonment.