Banner
BDF Destroys Marijuana Worth $30 Million Print E-mail
( 1 Vote )
Written by Shane D. Williams   
Friday, 22 November 2013 00:00

bdf jones.jpg - 51.52 KbSince April of this year the Belize Defense Force has been working with a United States task force operating out of Honduras to conduct search and destroy drug operations in Belize’s forest. The operations were kept secret to maximize their effectiveness. As a result, in less than eight months three operations were executed and over 100,000 marijuana plants were destroyed at different locations across the country. According to Brigadier General David Jones, the estimated worth of the product is close to $30 million.

The Belize Defense Force was supported in the missions by six US trained seals from the Belize Coast Guard, Officers of the Forestry Department and U.S. military personnel. According to Jones, the first operation was conducted using a Chinook and a Blackhawk helicopter from the US military. Those choppers transported about 100 men to strategic locations in the jungle. It took two days to destroy 62 thousand plants. Jones says without the helicopters it would have taken the BDF up to two years to find and destroy that many plants. The second operation was conducted from September 7th to 10th. Two Chinook helicopters were used and another significant number of plants were destroyed. The third operation was without assistance from the US helicopter and 37 thousand plants were destroyed.

General Jones says the BDF is in need of air support. Since BATSUB downsized and closed its air support program, the force has struggled to conduct effective jungle patrols and seek and destroy operations. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, says the Government of Belize is “committed to any serious cost share arrangement that our partners are prepared to undertake in the acquisition of helicopters for Belize.” According to General Jones, BDF personnel are already being trained in flying helicopters.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 November 2013 15:34