Coast Guard Helps Seize 1,700 Pounds of Marijuana


MIAMI – A task force attached to Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) seized approximately 1,700 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated wholesale value of $1.5 million, in the vicinity of North Nurse Cay, Bahamas, Sept. 19.

This interdiction is a direct result of a coordinated response with OPBAT task force.

"This seizure represents the second major drug interdiction by OPBAT in 3 weeks," said Cmdr. Mark Driver, OPBAT director.  "I am proud of the professionalism and dedication displayed by every member of the OPBAT Team."

On September 18, a Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft detected a 40-foot go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea.  Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) surface assets responded to the location of the go-fast to investigate the suspicious vessel.

After arriving on scene and interviewing two men aboard the go-fast vessel, a DEA helicopter located 40 packages hidden in the mangroves, which later tested positive for marijuana.

The two suspected smugglers were taken into custody and transferred to local law enforcement authorities in Nassau.

OPBAT is a combined Coast Guard, DEA and Government of Bahamas partnership to combat drug smuggling to and from the Bahamas. The OPBAT Operations Center is responsible for initiating and prosecuting law enforcement cases in the Bahamian area of responsibility (AOR). In addition, OPBAT assets regularly assist with prosecuting human smuggling and search and rescue cases throughout the AOR.

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