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Nov 18, 2013

Anti-drug operation on La Isla Bonita; Coast Guard officers shoot a civilian

Elton Bennett

A man is at the K.H.M.H. recovering from a gunshot wound he received during a Coast Guard operation on Northern Ambergris Caye. Acting on information received, on Saturday the Coast Guard mobilized an anti-narcotics operation in a known hotspot on Ambergris Caye. The patrol allegedly came under attack from five men at a camp, and returned fire. During the altercation twenty-four-year-old Frank Edwards, a fisherman from the San Mateo area of San Pedro, was shot on his left hip, while Leonard Williams and Guillermo Salazar were detained. Today Vice-Commandant Elton Bennett told News Five that while they did locate a small amount of marijuana on the site of the altercation, he believes a major drug operation was averted by the presence of the Coast Guard.


Commander Elton Bennett, Vice Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“On the sixteenth November, 2013 we conducted a special operation in the area of Northern Ambergris Caye. The patrol was inserted near the Belize/Mexico border and made their way down and about one mile on the patrol we spotted five men in a camp. We approached the area and one of the men fired shots at the Coast Guard patrol. We returned fire and were able to neutralize the situation and we were able to detain three of those five individuals. One of them got shot during the process and was wounded. We took him to the San Pedro Polyclinic. We found a small quantity of marijuana in the area but our main mission in the area was a counter-drug operation.”



“I know that you all have had problems in that area before. Is that correct?”


Commander Elton Bennett

“That’s right…it’s an area that we target on a routine basis. It’s very busy with traffickers – illegal drug trafficking and weapons trafficking so it’s an area that we target on a regular basis.”


Two men, one of them the gunman who fired on the Coast Guard, escaped. A black knapsack was found containing two hundred and seventy grams of suspected cannabis. 

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