Swoop: Police raided Victor Roberts’ Warwick home last July. *File photo
Swoop: Police raided Victor Roberts’ Warwick home last July. *File photo

FRIDAY, JUNE 22: Authorities in Bermuda and the US used extensive undercover surveillance to keep tabs on Victor Roberts.

Officers were on board the flight that he took from LF Wade International Airport to New Jersey on June 28 to ensure police did not lose sight of their target.

And he was watched constantly during his short stay in Staten Island when he bought the industrial compressor he later modified and hid the drugs and the ammunition in.

A police source close to the investigation told the Bermuda Sun: “This was a long and protracted investigation that involved local agencies and American authorities.

“A huge amount of man hours were put into this operation and it is very gratifying that it resulted in a successful result.

“Surveillance methods such as those used in this investigation are just one tool in our arsenal.

“But we also have the ability to work with agencies overseas to ensure that drugs do not get into Bermuda.”

The surveillance operation was coordinated by US enforcement agencies as well as the Bermuda Police Service and Customs Department.

Officers kept a close eye on Roberts as he worked all hours to construct a secret compartment in the bottom of the compressor unit inside a garage in New York. He also painted the concealed compartment to match the rest of the compressor in a bid to avoid detection.

Roberts was monitored entering and leaving the garage on a number of occasions before he started making arrangements for the compressor to be sent back to Bermuda.

When the container holding the compressor was delivered to a warehouse in New Jersey authorities quickly descended on the location and searched it.

Sniffer dogs and X-ray machines were used to locate the drugs.

Dummy packages

The drugs and the ammunition were removed by officers and replaced by ‘dummy’ packages, and the container was brought into Bermuda on July 14 by ship.

Detectives in Bermuda continued to keep Roberts under observation after he returned as he made efforts to have the container delivered to his home at 121 South Road in Warwick.

And they were watching on as he began to saw open the false bottom of the compressor on July 20.

Officers descended on the scene and arrested him before he had the chance to see the drugs and ammunition had been replaced by dummy packages.