A joint U.S. and Bahamian task force seized almost 3,000 pounds of marijuana that federal law enforcement agents say is worth more than $2.5 million during operations in the Bahamas last week.
The drugs were taken from go-fast boats operating in the southeast Bahamas, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Keith Smith.
Along with the pot, agents also confiscated two smuggling boats and a vehicle, and they arrested six people.
Randolph Alles, assistant commissioner of Customs Office of Air and Marine, said the joint operation is an important step in helping prevent illegal drugs from reaching South Florida.
“OAM maintains an active and fully engaged cadre of coastal patrol vessels and aircraft aggressively patrolling the Florida coastline to disrupt illicit activity before it reaches our shores,” Alles said in a statement.
The task force is called Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and includes members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, OAM and the Bahamas Drug Enforcement Unit, which is part of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Over three separate nights, OAM aircrews aboard DHC-8 aircraft observed suspicious go-fast vessels transiting waters in the southeast Bahamas, Smith said.
A deployed U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter aircrew launched and supported DEA and DEU agents during the interdictions.
The seized speed boats and contraband were eventually escorted to Nassau, Bahamas, for further processing.
CBP asks the public to report maritime smuggling and other suspicious activities through 1-800-BE-ALERT or the after hours toll-free number 1-800-562-5943.
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