15 arrested in Bimini sweep
Fifteen people were arrested in Bimini over the weekend in connection with possession of drugs and ammunition, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police Samuel Butler.
“We had a seizure of cocaine,” he said at a press conference outside Odyssey Aviation in western New Providence Saturday.
“We had a seizure of ammunition, and then we had a number of other minor seizures of marijuana. In total, we have some 15 persons that were arrested associated with drugs and ammunition.”
Butler said the operation involved over 100 Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) officers and 50 Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officers.
“The mission was a multi-faceted approach, but we certainly went into Bimini, based on intelligence, looking for persons of interest, and some of those persons were place into custody and they are traveling into the capital where they will be properly interviewed,” he said.
He added, “We had a murder on one hand, drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, we have illegal migration movement. And, so, there are a number of things we’re looking at.”
There have been two murders on the island in the past two months. In one instance that made international news, Alain Perez, an American businessman, was murdered in his home.
While Butler said those incidents helped to drive the operation, he would not confirm whether any of those arrested over the weekend were connected with either murder.
“In part, it was a part of our response, as you are aware that the two murders are being actively investigated,” he said.
“We have already spoken to a number of persons. We are examining evidence from witnesses.
“We continue to examine evidence from forensics, and we will continue to keep that trail hot, and we feel optimistic. In time, we’ll bring closure to those.”
He added, “Those instance are unfortunate. I believe they arose, based on what we understand, out of general human conflict. Individuals knew each other, one way or another, and unfortunately they were not able to resolve those conflicts.
“So [it is] unfortunate, but whenever a loss of life happens among us, the police force stands resolved to ensure that we put every effort in bringing resolution to it. And that is in part the demonstration here and overnight.”
Butler said he believes the mission is demonstrative of the result of the success of government’s spending on resources.
“The government of The Bahamas spent a lot of money on resources and truly was a part of the test that we were able to take those resources, put them into action and get good results,” he said.
He added, “We had a focused mission going into Bimini. We had several activities 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 we knew we needed to see to ensure that we continue the wheel of justice.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish