Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia, has garnered some negative attention, after he posted bail for a man charged with drug possession on the island of San Pedro.
Police Officers have been heavily engaged in the war against drug on the small island, which has seen a crime increase over the past few years. Most of those crimes are believed to be drug related.
The matter of the Minister’s bail for 43 year old Edwardo Jones came to light when the bail document was leaked to the media earlier this week, showing Manuel Heredia’s signature as the surety.
Edwardo Jones ,a resident of San Pedro Town, was arrested and charged by island police on January 17th. , when San Pedro police on patrol saw him at the corner of Almond and Tarpon Streets acting suspiciously.
According to police, Mr Jones handed something to a person who had approached him, and when police went to search Jones, they found nothing on him, but found a black plastic bag with cannabis in the area where Jones was standing.
Edwardo Jones received Police Bail on the same day in the sum of $500 dollars, which was signed by Hon. Heredia.
According to the San Pedro Sun, Minister Heredia stated, “Yes it is my signature on the bail application, and I did so because Mr. Jones is my employee for the past three years. He does my errands at home. He has been targeted by police, and there are witnesses who can testify to that; people saw what happen. On more than one occasion Mr. Jones has been arrested by this particular officer who has detained him and released the man without charges. In the past he has been beaten by police and this is on the police record. In that regards, I did what I had to do – I bailed him out because I gathered that the man did nothing wrong,”
The Minister maintains that bailing someone is a perfectly legitimate and legal process, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Edwardo Jones’ case is before the courts.