Man Pleads Guilty To Being In A Gang: Believing He Would Not Go To Jail – The Court Report Feb. 17th. 2022

Another Jerusalem Bone Yard Crips taken to court for allegedly being a member of a gang!

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Belize City, Thurs. Feb. 17, 2022

Tonight another Belize City man is on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of being a member of a gang, the ‘Jerusalem Bone Yard Crips Gang’.

He is 27-year-old, Anthony Phillip Ramirez, a Welder with Rivero’s Welding, and a resident of an Antelope Street Extension address; who police are claiming they have been able to link to the infamous Jerusalem Bone Yard Crips Gang of Belize City.

And while that is the police allegations being made against Ramirez in court it was a very emotional time for the father who although pleaded guilty initially to the charge, ended up with an equivocal plea of not guilty entered in against him by the magistrate who did not accept his guilty plea based on what he said in court.

Ramirez appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Baha Shoman in Court #6 this morning.

He pleaded guilty with an explanation to being a member of the JBYC Gang, but when asked if he understood the charge, he said yes and when asked if he is a member of the gang, Ramirez said , “No” stating that he is only pleading guilty so as not to go to jail.

It appeared that while in police custody, based on what Ramirez told the court, he came under heavy pressure, allegedly by the police.

He told Magistrate Shoman initially that he was not a member of the gang. Then because he is not in agreement with that, she was forced to enter an equivocal plea of not guilty on his behalf.

That made Ramirez cry-out even more in court stating that the police told him that when he goes to court he is to plea guilty to the charge and he will just have to pay a fine.

He also told Magistrate Shoman that he was being forced by the police to work with them, like an informant and assist them with the phone numbers of other persons.

According to Ramirez, he could not do that and when he refused he was charged for being a member of a gang. And in a very emotional manner Ramirez who could not control his crying over the situation of having to go to jail despite everything, he still ended up behind bars since his guilty plea was rejected by the Magistrate.

Magistrate Shoman explained to him that for her to accept his guilty plea for the offense he must be in agreement that he is a member or the gang.

And without the actual facts being read out in court, Ramirez was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until March 31, 2022.

The change read to Ramirez is that he is a member of the ‘Jerusalem Bone Yard Crip Gang’ who are engaged in committing serious criminal offenses.

Magistrate Shoman explain to Ramirez that he has the right to retain an attorney to apply to the Supreme court for bail on his behalf but her hands are tied at this moment to grant him bail.

Ramirez said he is a father and having to go to jail now means his life is ruined and he will not be able to take care of his children.

Last week Friday four Belize City men were arraigned before the courts for being a member of the same gang.

They are Sean Pitter, 22 and 20 year-old Keshawn Bernard Willoughby. Both Pitter and Willoughby were sentence to 6 months each imprisonment. Two others pleaded not guilty and were remanded to jail.

Then on Monday of this week, February 15, 2022, Willoughby’s older brother, 22-year-old, Jason Graham Willoughby appeared before a magistrate in Court #6 where he was represented by an attorney Aaron Tillett who made submissions to have him be granted or considered bail but was unsuccessful.

This Willoughby pleaded not guilty on the charge except for his brother, Keshawn who pleaded guilty and is serving time.

According to COMPOL Williams the Belize Police Department special unit has been tasked to investigated several gang members and one of those gangs is JBYC and more persons is expected to be charged as the week progress.

Today next arraignment of Ramirez makes it six men now charged of being a member of the JBYC.

The JBYC has 10 active members according to police. They uses the color Blue and insignia 30’s.