Bridgetown Barbados Country Office Hosts the 11th Annual Drug Commanders Conference in St. Lucia, West Indies
July 26--The Bridgetown Country Office (BCO), in conjunction with the Narcotic Affairs Section (NAS), American Embassy Bridgetown, and the Royal St. Lucia Police Force hosted the 11th Annual Drug Commanders Conference in St. Lucia, West Indies, in July. The conference was well attended by members of the Drug Law Enforcement Community in the Caribbean Region as well as other Political Dignitaries from the host and nearby countries. The conference has grown tremendously since the kickoff in 1994 and the support from the host nations have been outstanding. The purpose of the conference is to bring together the law enforcement organizations in the Caribbean Region and provide them with up to date intelligence on the current trafficking trends. The conference also provides them with innovative training in the most strategic enforcement techniques being practiced in the region today.
Ambassador Mary Kramer presents an asset forfeiture proceed check for $621,673.48 to Alec Vanderpoole of the ONDCP, Antigua and Barbuda.
This year’s conference began on a particularly high note with United States Ambassador Mary Kramer extending a warm welcome to the Drug Commanders and Dignitaries in attendance at the conference. Ambassador Kramer then presented an asset forfeiture proceed check for $621,673.48 to Alec Vanderpoole of the ONDCP, Antigua and Barbuda. The check represented a 33% share of the $1,865,020.56 seized from the Amado Carillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization.
This years training included an overview of trafficking trends observed by law enforcement organizations operating in the Caribbean Region such as the Regional Security Service, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of St. Vincent, The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Caribbean Divisions Intelligence Research Group. This type of training promotes an avenue by which law enforcement organizations throughout the region are encouraged to share with their counterparts, information which could be beneficial to other parts of the region. It also provides them with a broader view of how drug trafficking organizations have been successfully exploiting our borders to traffic illegal substances.
Country Attaché Hollis R. Williams presents plaque to Director Gordon Stirling of the Narcotic Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Barbados.
The Special Operations Division provided training on the use of the latest technology available to facilitate investigations against drug trafficking organizations throughout the world. Conference participants found this information to be particularly useful in that the majority of the drug trafficking organizations throughout the Caribbean Region also take advantage of the available technology to conduct their illicit business.
A representative form the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia discussed the process of extraditing defendants back to the United States who were arrested on U.S. issued Provisional Arrest Warrants and other judicial mechanisms that support foreign drug trafficking investigations and encouraged the Drug Commanders to take advantage of the options at their disposal.
The Narcotic Affairs Sections (NAS), U.S. Embassy, Bridgetown discussed the various ways in which the United States can provide financial assistance to the drug investigations in the Caribbean Region. The U.S. Embassy NAS has always provided the Bridgetown Country Office as well as the Eastern Caribbean Region outstanding support and collaboration which have contributed to the success of DEA operations in the region.