NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Police Staff Association Chairman Assistant Superintendent Sonny Miller and two Columbians pled not guilty to drug charges in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The charges relate to cocaine worth $1.4m and Indian Hemp worth $34k.
Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson Pratt granted Miller bail but denied bail to the Columbians, Cristhian Aristizabal, and Cristhian Aragon.
The men face two counts of possessing cocaine and Indian Hemp on June 7th with the intent to supply the drugs to another person.
They face four counts of conspiring to obtain and import the drugs between May 9th and June 7th.
Aristizabal and Aragon faced two charges of importing cocaine and Indian Hemp while Miller faced two separate charges of abetment to the importation of cocaine and Indian Hemp.
The Columbians were also charged with a count of illegal landing.
The prosecutor did not object to granting Miller bail, citing his strong family ties to The Bahamas. Ferguson-Pratt also cited the fact that he has no prior convictions and no pending matters in court. She granted him bail for $100k with one or two suretor. He is required to report to a police station every Thursday before 6pm.
Lawyers for the Columbian nationals argued their clients should be given bail, citing legal precedents indicating that being a foreigner alone does not automatically mean that one is a flight risk and that bail should be denied. However, the chief magistrate said an important part of the Columbians’ case is they are accused of landing in the country without proper authority.
Miller served as head of the Police Staff Association for several years and became the Officer-in-Charge of Acklins earlier this year. His lawyer, K Melvin Munroe, complained that his client’s passport was taken from him. Ferguson-Pratt said she saw no lawful means by which his passport could be confiscated.
The case was adjourned pending a status hearing.