Local boat captain nabbed in $3M Florida drug bust
A local boat captain has been arrested in a multi-million dollar drug bust in the United States.
Police said the accused drug smuggler, Wayne Stout Jr, was also a target in an ongoing money-laundering investigation.
According to court filings seen by BVI News, Stout was arrested following a surveillance operation executed by the Department of Homeland Security, which involved another man — Avery Lans.
Reports show that Lans previously served 25 years of a 40-year sentence for second-degree murder in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) before receiving a pardon from former USVI Governor John de Jongh after his release.
Investigators said they trailed Stout as he rented a car and took officers to a storage unit in Orlando, Florida before handing over a duffel bag to Lans in the parking lot of a restaurant.
When they followed Lans, he reportedly began driving erratically, which investigators believe was a tactic used to evade pursuit. During this pursuit, Lans reportedly tossed the bag he was given by Stout and it was later discovered to have nearly 12 pounds of cocaine inside.
Officers then obtained a search warrant for the storage facility that was earlier accessed by Stout. There, agents discovered three large coolers containing 109 bricks of suspected cocaine.
Officers said each brick was estimated to weigh at least 1 kilogram and explained that a kilogram of cocaine is worth approximately $30,000.
Both men were later arrested and brought before the court on charges of conspiracy to possess 5 kilos or more of cocaine.
Stout was set to appear before Judge Melissa Damian on June 8 where prosecutors requested that bail be denied.