NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A major joint law enforcement operation on Bimini over the weekend resulted in the arrests of 24 people in connection with a myriad of crimes, including firearm and drug possession, trafficking, and connection with organized crime.
Utilizing officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and United States law enforcement officials, the exercise, coined Operation Poseidon Purge, and led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Samuel Butler, began shortly early Saturday and last for several hours.
Over 100 police officers and 50 marines participated in the operation.
Four people were arrested for conspiracy to import firearms.
Twelve people were arrested in connection with drugs, while another four people were taken in for questioning in connecting with dangerous drugs and firearms.
Police said shortly after 4 a.m., officers searched a home in Alice Town, North Bimini and found a package that contained 2.8 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $18,000.
A man and two women were arrested and are expected to be charged this week.
An additional person was arrested for conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs, and a man and a woman were detained for possession of ammunition.
According to authorities, shortly after 5 a.m. officers searched a home at Buccaneer Point, South Bimini, and found 36 rounds of .45 ammunition and two rounds of .38 ammunition.
The suspects are expected to be charged this week.
A suspect was detained in connection with organized crime, according to authorities.
“We had a focused mission going into Bimini,” said Butler, who spoke to the media outside the Odyssey Airport Saturday afternoon.
“In recent [times] we had several activates happening in Bimini and we knew that we needed to address those serious issues of crime and disorder, and we had a target goal.
“We had several persons that we know we needed to see to ensure that we continue the wheel of justice.
“We were very successful in locating those individuals; many of them were placed under arrest and we will be processing many of them. Many of those persons were persons of interest to further our ongoing investigations and we look forward in the days ahead of us to actually retrieve some valuable information that will be able to help us further our investigations that are ongoing in Bimini.”
Butler indicated that police have increased efforts on the island following two separate murders in recent months.
Butler expressed confidence that the operation had a positive impact on “suppressing crime and allowing the community to know that the police force is certainly there for them”.
He continued, “It certainly will diminish the thought and fear of crime and we definitely always wants to address the fear of crime. Bimini is generally a very peaceful community. I have had the opportunity to examine the statistics activity in terms of criminal activity. It’s almost very little to actually count outside of those two incidents that… unfortunately that ended with the deaths of two individuals.”
Last month, a man was shot dead at his residence in Bailey Town, Bimini around 3 a.m.
Officers responding to gunshots found the victim with several gunshot wounds.
In April, Alain Perez, an American citizen who lived on the island, was shot at his home and died at the clinic hours later.
Butler thanked the community for their continued support and cooperation.
He said authorities will spare no effort to ensure peace in maintained on the western island.