Local October 10, 2011 | 10:36 am

Top official rails Chief Justice over narcotics case

Santo Domingo. – Presidency Antinarcotics adviser Marino Vinicio Castillo on Monday railed the Supreme Court which in his view “hasn’t been a paradigm nor guide in Dominican Republic’s war on drugs,” in relation to the case of fired judge Francisco Mejía Angomas, who ordered the release of two convicted drug traffickers by placing “10 months” in the court papers, instead of their 10 year conviction.

The official, speaking about the case of the Manzano Garcia brothers, arrested in a makeshift runway near a Barahona cane field two years ago, said the judge who ordered his release couldn’t have taken on that responsibility on his own. “In my opinion, for Mejía Angomas to proceed in that direction, he had to obtain some type of orientation from the Supreme Court to take that monstrous decision.”

“I spoke with the then Chief of the Air Force who told be that the two were brothers of the pilot of the presidential helicopter. I told him that that helicopter was involved in drugs, he then told me that a small plane caught with that helicopter in a cane field in Neiba, near Barahona, didn’t belong to the government, but they were arrested, brought to the capital, but we were warned that it could’ve been a shipment of heroine,” Castillo said.

“To my surprise the Neiba court rules 10 years in jail against the pilots, then a Barahona court upheld the ruling, then it comes to the Supreme Court. The prosecutor of Montecristi calls his par in Neiba. But the San Cristobal judge decided it was 10 months,” he said.

Castillo, interviewed by Cesar Medina on Channel 9, also revealed that the government pilot, whose name he didn’t provide, was suspended and then placed on retirement. “The two brothers jailed are the brothers of one of the President’s pilot. The chopper landed in the Malecon heliport and the drug was apparently offloaded but once at the San Isidro Airbase, it was searched and drug residue was found.”

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