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Customs guard charged with impersonating dead man

A suspended Department of Customs guard has been accused of impersonating a dead man.

Prosecutors allege that Jeffrey Neely, 43, of Caribbean Close, pretended to be John Wesley Scott when he presented Scott’s Bahamian passport to a passport officer on August 26, 2008.

Neely, known by the street name”Rat”, is charged with fraud by false pretenses. He was not required to enter a plea to the charge during an arraignment before Magistrate Ancella Evans-Williams yesterday.

Neely returns to court on January 26 for a status hearing. He will learn whether a preliminary inquiry will be held or if the case will be sent to Supreme Court by a voluntary bill of indictment.

Evans-Williams set Neely’s bail at$8,000 with two sureties.

Neely was taken to the Central Police Station until his bail was signed. He pulled out a cell phone and called a friend while under the escort of a police constable.

Assistant Superintendent Cleophas Cooper, the deputy commander of the Central Division, said this should not have happened since Neely was in custody.

Neely was charged in June 2002 with the 1999 murder of Customs officer Sean Symonette. The status of that case is unclear.

There is also a pending bribery case against him. His defense lawyer, Ian Cargill said he plans to file a constitutional motion to have the bribery case quashed.

Neely is still on half-pay at the Customs Department.

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