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Apr 12, 2013

Twelve and a half million dollars of drugs up in smoke

There is big news to report tonight in anti-narcotics efforts. Law enforcement officers can proudly brag about locating and destroying drugs worth twelve and a half million dollars. That’s the estimated street value of the marijuana which was uprooted and burned earlier this week. A unit of the Belize Police Department with the support of the Belize Defense Force conducted operations in the west and south of the country which resulted in unprecedented success, but it all went up in smoke today. Freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

B.D.F. Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Shepherd says that this is not the first anti-narcotic operation carried out by the Police and the B.D.F., and they carry out regular training in this specialized area.


Raymond Shepherd

Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

“We do special training for jungle operation and what will happen is that the security forces would go in a secure the area before any eradication commence and we have at all times, all around defense during the operation.”


The operation is in keeping with the national strategic action plan which is to counteract the prevalence of the drug trade by eradicating local marijuana production. But while the drugs destroyed were local, the unit operated with the assistance of the Joint Task Force Bravo of the US Southern Command.


Raymond Shepherd

“To a certain extent we have as a part of our obligation to contribute to regional security. And as regional security, we touch bases with our international partners and they were able to provide air-mobile support for this particular operation. This was a two-day operation and it was split into two teams. We had a total of twenty-four members both from the B.D.F. and the Police Department. One team was sent to the southwest of Cayo and the other team operated in the Orange Walk district.”


The unit destroyed over sixty-one thousand marijuana plants, three hundred and thirty pounds of compressed marijuana and ten pounds of compressed seeds, with a street value of about twelve and a half million dollars. And other operations are already in the planning.


Raymond Shepherd

“As part of our effort to restore Belize, we will be conducting routine anti-narcotic operation and the purpose of these operations is to first deter and where deterrence fails to detect and destroy.”


In 2012, a total of thirty thousand marijuana plants were destroyed, a figure which was more than doubled in just this two day operation. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Shepherd attributes the success of the two-day operation to improved information sharing among the various government agencies, enhanced intelligence gathering and greater collaboration among national and international security forces. He gives particular notice to air-mobile support, the unit received from Joint Task Force Bravo of U.S. Southern Command. 

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10 Responses for “Twelve and a half million dollars of drugs up in smoke”

  1. Bear says:

    Was it really burned, or did John Saldivar just make a deal and sell it like rosewood? If so, did he get Cabinet to approve this crime, too? The man just has to go, preferably led away in steel bracelets. Nobody can trust the security forces now with the biggest criminal in charge of them.

    Will the media follow up on Whylie’s release of the Chinese illegals?

    We finally truly have the worst of the worst running the machinery of government.

    Does anybody want a change?

  2. Johnny says:

    maybe they should have done an Amnesty Program and given the drugs back to the producers so they can sell it and not loose out on the value. then the GOB gets 50% of the profits.

  3. Eye in the Sky says:

    Was it really destroyed or was it the same shady deal like the rosewood?

    That is the question.

  4. Nation of Izscam says:

    “As part of our effort to restore Belize”

    just think it is being legalized outside Belize. Medical marijuana leading the way.

    And before J Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon went nuts fighting drugs, it was legal just about everywhere. It was their three card monte to hide their criminal activity.

    go burn some rosewood while you are at it.

  5. BT says:

    Why didn’t the minister let the drug dealers sell the weed and split 50-50 with GOB? Seemed to make sense to him with other contraband.

  6. Rum Drum says:

    Now that just drove up the weed price and the trafficker’s determination to make huge profit margins. Burning large quantities of weed only makes weed trafficking more attractive to unemployed and unemployable youths because burning large quantities drive up the market price of weed. Pure economics 101. Its just like when the Middle East turns off the oil taps. Oil price spikes.

  7. kid says:

    not one positive comment for di securty foce…at least job well…don…nice too see how narrow your minds is…

  8. CEO says:

    Now this is a good thing to burn not the confiscated rosewood!

  9. Marion says:

    Not everybody smokes weed, so if the price goes up good for the vendor & bad for the consmer, he should use the money to buy food & feed his kids.

  10. Bear says:

    @Kid, you’re right that nobody said a good thing about the security team that found the drugs, and I’m sorry for that on my part. I’m a serious supporter of honest police.

    But your observation illustrates the fact that when a government is pervasively corrupt, the people learn to hold it in contempt — and sadly, that splashes onto honest police who don’t deserve it.

    Throw out the crooks top to bottom, and good cops will be viewed as public heroes as they deserve to be. Good police really should have an incentive to lock up thieves at every level, so they can receive the respect they have earned.

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