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Laventille raid nets $400,000 marijuana haul
A 32-year-old soldier was among 35 Laventille residents arrested in a police exercise on Thursday night. The operation began at 11 pm and ended almost 12 hours later. It involved more than 150 personnel from various police units. The Beverly Hills and Canada communities of Laventille were targeted in the exercise in response to reports of gang violence and other serious criminal activity in past months, police sources said.
During the exercise the police, using metal-detectors and sniffer dogs, unearthed three guns—a 9mm pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a high-powered rifle—buried in an abandoned lot. A substantial quantity of 9mm ammunition and two pistol holsters were also found. The weapons were taken to the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where ballistic tests will be conducted.
The police also seized a total of 35 kilos of high-grade marijuana at several homes. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be more than $400,000. The soldier was arrested at his home in Beverly Hills and was charged with possession of 30 grammes of marijuana. Those detained in the exercise were held in connection with robbery, larceny and firearms offences.
Several people were also held on outstanding warrants relating to outstanding court fines. Senior police sources said similar exercises will be carried out in the next few weeks in other communities in Laventille. The exercise included members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), Guard and Emergency Branch (GEB) and the Port-of-Spain CID. It was co-ordinated by Senior Supts Carlton Alleyne and Wayne Boyd and led by Supt Kennedy McIntyre and Insp Sahadeo Singh.
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