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Dec 31, 2003

City activist cries foul after weed bust

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As a politician, community activist, and radio personality she has never shied away from controversy…and tonight former Belize City Councillor Lillette Barkley-Waite is once again in the thick of it–this time for being on the wrong end of a pot bust.

Lillette Barkley-Waite, Charged with Drug Trafficking

“I am not guilty of drug trafficking, I have never trafficked drugs, I do not intend to traffic drugs. I am a hard working woman and intend to continue to be that way and will continue to work for the community.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

But police suspect that community activist and former city councillor fifty-four year old Lillette Barkley-Waite was in fact selling drugs after they discovered one hundred and twenty grams, or a little over four ounces of marijuana hidden, inside a purse that was found in this filing cabinet inside Waite’s house.

Lillette Barkley-Waite

“I will go as far as to tell you that as I stand here today, I am sure that whatever happened, it was direct result of planning and trying to set me up and sabotage.”

But who would want to frame Barkley-Waite? She believes Tuesday night’s raid at her residence was the result of a previous altercation between two neighbours and her efforts to mediate the situation.

Lillette Barkley-Waite

“I have a suspicion of how it got there, but I do believe it was a set up because of the way it came about considering the facts prior to the search. By which I mean, the disagreement with the two neighbours and with the specific statement by one of the neighbours that “I will call the police and tell them that unu the sell drugs.” I think I got caught into it because I tried to be the peacemaker and that was different.”

Waite discovered when she reached the police station that her problems were just beginning.

Lillette Barkley-Waite

“We got into the cell say about after ten last night and by ten-thirty we were being forced to sweep out the cell and clean it up. And when we refused to do it, because apparently the officer on duty at outside of the cell it’s his responsibility, he did not want to do it. And so after harassing and harassing and he could not get anyone in the cell to do it, he went and he brought a huge–and I’m not exaggerating–samurai type W.P.C., very husky, who attacked the younger females in that cell. And literally, one she did physically pushed her in her head. “You wah sweep this place out.” It was tense. I don’t believe that should be condoned. If I didn’t live through it I couldn’t say, but I can stand here and tell you I saw I young man this morning who was held in a cell carrying out the slop bucket. I will not and would not and refused to clean the toilet. We walked in there and it was filthy.”

Barkley-Waite was released after paying two thousand dollars bail. The case is scheduled to be heard on March eleventh. On several occasions she has been publicly critical of police behaviour in their treatment of suspects.

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