By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN American man in his early 50s was yesterday arrested in connection with the discovery of nearly half a million dollars worth of marijuana in Bimini, according to local police.
Chief Supt Samuel Butler, officer-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), said the 52-year-old Florida native was found on board a vessel in South Bimini with $436,000 worth of drugs.
Police said it appeared that more than one person was involved in the operation and the drugs were headed out of the country.
The man and the contraband were later taken to New Providence. He is expected to face charges in connection with the matter.
According to Chief Supt Butler, a team of DEU officers with officers from the Bimini division, acting on a tip, went into a marina on South Bimini where they boarded a 30-foot sailing vessel.
Once there, police found a man on board with a quantity of marijuana packages.
The drugs were weighed at 436 pounds.
Yesterday’s seizure comes over a month after Grand Bahama police seized more than $600,000 worth of suspected cocaine from a residence in Grand Bahama.
In February, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour reported that DEU officers executed a search warrant at a residence in the Lucaya area, where they discovered seven kilos of cocaine in a room.
He said during a further search, officers found cocaine hidden in the lining of 15 black travel bags, including backpacks and camera bags.
A 9mm Glock pistol was also recovered from a closet in a room, and 22 .40 rounds of ammunition were also discovered hidden in the ceiling.
Mr Seymour said that officers seized a total of 48 pounds of cocaine. The occupants of the residence – three men of Grand Bahama - were arrested.
At the time police believed the drugs were going to be smuggled out of the country. Mr Seymour said the discovery was evidence of the extent that criminals would take to conceal illegal drugs. He also showed reporters Lipton ice tea containers, where some of the drugs were also hidden.
“The discovery shows the innovation of the criminals; they are using all means to advance their nefarious acts,” he said.