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Reformed Criminal Looks To Partner With Police

Sonia Minns is a 36-year-old mother of three young daughters, an anti crime advocate and up to last year, a self-proclaimed drug trafficker.

She shared her story of drug running and drug pushing with a packed crowd who turned out to attend last Thursday’s listening crime forum, “Operation Ceasefire,” at the St. Joseph’s Community Centre, Boyd Road.

The panel included National Security Minister, Dr. Bernard Nottage; State Minister for National Security, Keith Bell; Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade and Prison Superintendent, Patrick Wright.

A number of other top government and police officials were in the audience.

The crime forum gave average Bahamians, like Ms. Minns an opportunity to offer suggestions on how best to fight crime.

The self-proclaimed reformed criminal in convinced the country is unable to get a real handle on the issue is because – like she did – today’s drug runners’ biggest allies and partners are police officers.

“I know about dirty cops,” she said. “I know about paying officers off to let us come through and just giving them monies.

“When we coming into Nassau, or when we leaving out of Nassau they just want that money. But if I give them my money they doing the same thing I’m doing. We shipped drugs island to island, through Haiti, Jamaica.”

Ms. Minns said in some form or fashion, she has tried to tip police officers off about the bad apples in their ranks who have helped her to run drugs but, they would not give her the time of day.

She said if just given the chance, she could potentially be the key to weeding out rogue officers and putting a dent in the drug problem.

“The police don’t like me,” she added. “They don’t like me. They wouldn’t even sit down with me. I tried through my organisation, but they wouldn’t even sit down with us.”

Minns added that now that she has brought the issue to their feet and face to face, she is going to wait and see what they do about it.

But for now she vowed that criminal lifestyle is the past and reminded that she is now a part of the anti-crime group FOAM (Families For All Murdered Victims).
In fact, Ms. Minns said joining the group has changed her life and made her see that there is more to life than drug running and gang banging.

“I had seven hits put on my head so I know what I’m talking about,” Ms. Minns said. “FOAM gave me the strength to know I have my daughters to live for and to make sure they grow up and not see me in a coffin anytime soon.

“I know I am doing a positive thing right now. Some of my friends and family tell me that speaking out will cost my life, but if I speak out I know the crime will decrease. I am not afraid.”

She suggested the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) start fighting crime from within.

“For them to deal with the criminal, they have to start with the Force first, trust me,” she added. “Crime will not stop if the police officers are doing the same thing the criminals are doing.”

At the crime forum, Commissioner Greenslade admitted that some police officers are involved in some way with illegal drugs, adding that about two weeks ago he had to fire a police officer for his involvement with drugs.

“I fired a young man for using drugs,” he said. “He cried a lot of crocodile tears and said how unfair the police are for dismissing him. When he returns, I leave. I expect policemen to be above board.”

The commissioner said it was because of the help of one vigilant citizen that they were able to get rid of that bad apple.

“A young lady texted me and said the next time a police car comes through my corner and tip the guys off that police are coming to do a raid, I will let you know,” he said.

“Sure enough we were planning something and he went in the neighbourhood to tell the guys and she took a picture. Don’t just complain, take a picture. If you give me convincing evidence I promise you, you will know.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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