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Power Inquiry investigates if the rifle used in attack to the PM vehicle, in Amazonas, was misplaced from the Court of Justice

A high-caliber weapon "disappeared" from the Court of Justice in Amazonas on November 26th of last year and may have ended up in the hands of bandits (Image: MP-AM)

Paula Litaiff and Malu Dacio – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The judge of the 1st Criminal Court, Luiz Alberto Nascimento Albuquerque, opened an investigation to investigate whether the rifle used in the attack on a Military Police car (PM), which transported prisoners to a custody hearing, last January 6, in Manaus, was misplaced inside the Public Warehouse of the Court of Amazonas (TJAM). The information is in Official Letter 10/2022, to which CENARIUM MAGAZINE had access.

The action against the PM vehicle resulted in the injury of a policewoman and the death of two of the three inmates who were in the vehicle: Matheus Danilo Barros Dias, 24 years, and Antônio Marlon Silva dos Santos, 48 years. Patrick Reis de Sena, 28, was injured and is hospitalized. The attack occurred on one of the busiest avenues in Manaus, André Araújo, in the Center-South Zone.

From right to left: Antônio Marlon Silva dos Santos, 48, and Matheus Danilo Barros Dias, 24, who were killed in an attack. Patrick Reis de Sena, 28, is hospitalized (Civil Police)

The trio was arrested by military police officers accused of planning deaths of drug trafficking rivals in the South Zone of Manaus. They were arrested on January 6 and, on the same day, were heading to the Forum Minister Henoch Reis, when they were intercepted by two cars and heavy weapons.

Read more: ‘‘Violence is much closer’, says criminalist on execution in front of the Henoch Reis Courthouse, in Manaus

Crime and weapon

The suspicion of the connection between the attack and the rifle that was lost from the court occurred after the arrest of one of the suspects, in the crime, and seizure of the weaponry that was with him. In research on the origin of the rifle, the police obtained information that the weaponry with the same characteristics should be in the TJAM.

Weapons seized with one of the suspects of the attack on the Military Police vehicle, in Manaus (Civil Police)

The magistrate narrated that the rifle arrived at the warehouse of TJAM on November 25, 2021 and disappeared the next day. The weapon is type T4, Taurus brand, 556mm caliber. In the letter from the judge of the 1st Criminal Court, there is information that the security cameras of the court failed to record the disappearance of the weapon.

According to the letter signed by the judge, the discovery that the weapon was not on the premises of TJAM occurred when bailiffs went to the warehouse to fulfill a request for restitution of seized property, made by Adilson Borges dos Santos, who claimed to be the owner of the weapon in question. The weapon was seized after being stolen.

‘Very serious crime’

In analyzing the case, the magistrate states – in the letter that opens the investigation – that occurred practice of “very serious crime”, likely to compromise the credibility of the agencies involved in the loss of the rifle, pointed as the same used in the attack on the car.

In the letter from Judge Luiz Alberto Nascimento, it is stated that the two servers responsible for the weapons deposit in the TJAM are currently on vacation. Today, there is a notification, in the court, for them to take responsibility for the weapons.

Designated judge

With exclusivity to CENARIUM MAGAZINE, the judge assigned to follow the case, Elza de Mello, informed that the suspected misplacement of the court rifle is under investigation.

“It was a seized weapon, which was not located, and was reported to the internal affairs department, which is investigating under what conditions and how this occurred. We became aware of it today. The process is distributed among three judges and was left with me”, declared the magistrate.

Elza also said that the head of the Weapons Depository has been notified. “It is the depot that receives the seized objects, such as cell phones, weapons, ammunition that come from the responsible department of the civil police.  The movable goods seized in each and every operation or any crime, are delivered as part of the process. Everything is stored in this warehouse”, he explained.

Secrecy of Justice

Currently, the process that investigates the disappearance of the rifle is under court secrecy and may unfold over the next few days. At the Amazonas Court of Justice’s internal affairs department, the investigation is under “administrative” status, not criminal.

Also according to Judge Elza de Mello, the court will investigate whether there was misconduct of the servers of the deposit and if there will be any punishment due to negligence, omission, guilt of the responsible public servant or the servers located in the deposit.

The rifle that killed Matheus Danilo Barros Dias, 24 (photo), may be the same one lost from the Court of Justice of the Amazonas State (Ricardo Oliveira/Revista Cenarium)

“The chief of staff can tell me that the weapon is, yes, in the depository and, for some reason, was not in the specific location of the process, but it is located in the depository and in our custody. Now, if this gun, which supposedly left the forum, was used in another crime, only the Civil Police, which is doing the investigation, will be able to tell,” concluded the magistrate.

In a note, the Civil Police of Amazonas limited itself to informing that the weapons used in the attack on January 6, in front of the Minister Henoch da Silva Reis Courthouse, were sent to the expert so that “the owners were identified”.