Counterfeit charge withdrawn from cop Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 April 2012 00:00

Sherwood WadeOn Friday March 30th, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew charges of possession of counterfeit notes against Sergeant of Police, Sherwood Wade.

Wade was arrested and charged after he was allegedly found trying to deposit U.S. counterfeit money into his account at the Belize Bank branch office on the Northern Highway on May 18, 2011. Police said at the time he was found in possession of 16 - $100 US currency notes.Two days after the bust, Officer Wade on Friday, May 20, appeared in Court #1 before the then Chief Magistrate, Margaret Gabb McKenzie where he was read a single charge of possession of counterfeit notes.  Sgt. Wade pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail of $8,000 plus two sureties of $4,000 each.

He appeared in court again before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, on Friday where the prosecutor withdrew the charges. A letter from the DPP’s office presented in court states that, “I write further to my memorandum herein of the 14th December 2011.  I have since been able to peruse the Cruz Garnett file and to compare the exhibits in both that and the instant case. The exhibits in the Garnett file are intact and some of the notes do in fact, bear the same serial numbers as the notes which Wade produced. I was in a meeting at the end of last year, with the Head, NCIB and the Head, Special Branch, and the latter informed me that the notes in Wade’s possession were the property of Special Branch and had been in the custody of Officer Bodden prior to his death. I found it strange that this information was known and there was no such indication on file. I was not consulted in relation to this matter prior to charges having been laid against Wade. I became privy to the evidence in the matter in the regular course of proceedings when the file was sent to this office in June of last year.  Since July of last year, I had been attempting to obtain the Cruz file since I was informed as previously indicated and it seemed to be to be the only “lead” to establish the case. That file was only provided to me last week.  It appears to me that there is more evidence within the knowledge of the police department that there is on the file. I am therefore returning the file to you to pursue that evidence with a view towards providing the charge that you have laid.  You are no longer required to return the file to this Office as in the circumstances, no one from this office will be involved in the prosecution of this case.”  This letter of memorandum was dated January 23, 2012 coming from and signed by the DPP herself, Cheryl Lynn-Vidal addressed to Officer Commanding Criminal Investigation Branch.

Attorney for Wade, Simeon Sampson had asked that the charge be dismissed on February 15th since they had not yet received disclosure and the matter was set for trial, however, the Chief Magistrate refused his submission. She told Sampson that the matter was relatively new and that it had only been before the court for 9 months.  She had further told him that she will grant a final adjournment in the matter and set the trial date for the accused.

When the prosecution withdrew the charge, Wade was free to leave the courtroom.