Tourist Busted Twice for Cannabis on Ambergris Caye


Often in our newscast, we report on tourists being busted by police with marijuana and then sentenced to pay a fine after they plead guilty in Magistrate’s Court. It is exceedingly rare, however, that the same tourist gets busted a second time and is brought back to court – that is until Richard Allen Ely.The 52 year-old computer network consultant from Dallas Texas was arraigned this afternoon for possession of a controlled drug before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart.

According to police, yesterday at around 7:15 p.m., he was searched in San Pedro Town by a police constable on patrol. When the officer searched a black bag in his possession, he found 2 plastic containers with 6.1 grams – or 0.2 ounces – of marijuana inside. As a result, Ely was arrested and charged for the offence of possession.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, which makes his second guilty conviction since he has come to Belize. For the magistrate’s consideration, he told the court that 4 officers attempted to extort him for $1,000 in exchange for the charge to go away. He also told Magistrate Stuart that he has plans to leave Belize as soon as possible.

As a result, Magistrate Stuart sentenced him pay $300 forthwith, or 3 months imprisonment in default. He was able to pay the fine and walk out of court a free man once again.

On January 15, police busted Ely with 5 grams of Cannabis and a pipe at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. For that first charge, he fined $350 and $600 for the pipe, which he was able to pay.


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