The Belizean Law Enforcement and US Military have collaborated once more to destroy $54 Million dollars in marijuana plantations throughout Belize.
The US Military, through Joint Task Force Bravo, which is based in Soto Cano, Honduras, provided airlift support to a joint Belizean team comprising
officers from the BDF, Coast Guard, the Anti-Drug Unit, and the Mobile Interdiction Team.
The authorities have not released any details as to where these marijuana plantations are located, but the operation took place between September 29 to
October 3 - a 5 day operation, 3 weeks ago.
A release from the US Embassy says that with the help of 2 UH-60 Blackhawks and 1 CH-47 Chinook Helicopters, the joint team of law enforcement officers
were able to destroy over 58,000 marijuana plants 10 pounds of seeds and one thousand pounds of processed marijuana, to an estimated street value of 27
US Million dollars - or 54 Million Belizean dollars. The operation was part of the continuing partnership between both governments in an effort to
disrupt the narcotics trade.
Massive Law Enforcement Effort Destroys Fifty-four Million Dollars in Marijuana
On Tuesday, the US Embassy, through its Office of Public Affairs, issued a press release in which it announced the discovery and destruction of marijuana with a street value of twenty-seven million U.S. dollars; that’s fifty-four million Belize dollars. The joint five-day operation included participation from the B.D.F., the Belize Coast Guard, the Anti-Drug Unit and the Mobile Interdiction Unit. The mission was made possible through support from the U.S. Army’s Joint Task Force Bravo, stationed in Honduras, which provided three helicopters. This is only one of several such operations which have yielded significant returns, and B.D.F. Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Shepherd, told News Five that they can see the difference in local production already.
Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff, Belize Defence Force
“These operations are intelligence driven, so we get information from our patrols that do routine patrols in the jungle, and then we’ll coordinate these with our strategic partners, particularly the United States Southern Command for their helicopter support. In this particular operation, between the twenty-ninth of September and the third of October 2014, the Belize Defence force stood shoulder to shoulder with members of the Belize Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard which yielded the discovery and destruction of fifty-two thousand eight hundred and ninety-five marijuana plants. Two fields were located in the Orange Walk District, which yielded three thousand three hundred and fifty plants; in the Cayo District four fields which yielded ten thousand seven hundred and four plants, and in the Toledo District the greatest yield was twenty-two fields – thirty-eight thousand eight hundred and forty-one plants.”
“Could you tell us if you all have seen the effects of all this destruction that has been taking place in this and past operations?”
Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd
“Certainly. Evidence of this is the decrease in discovery in the north. In March we conducted a similar operation and in the north we destroyed twenty-six thousand plants. In this operation we only discovered and destroyed three thousand plants.”
The joint operation reported that there were no confrontations during the destruction. They believe that anybody who might have been in or around the marijuana fields left the area when they heard the helicopters coming.