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VI men allegedly nabbed with 667kg of cocaine off St Croix

VI men allegedly nabbed with 667kg of cocaine off St Croix

United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Monday, January 10, 2022, that three [British] Virgin Islands citizens and one citizen of the Dominican Republic were arrested January 9, 2022, on criminal charges related to their alleged possession with intent to distribute 667 kilograms of cocaine on-board a vessel apprehended near St Croix, US Virgin Islands (USVI).

According to court documents, on January 9, 2022, at approximately 3:30 pm, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (CBP-AMO) along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) detected a thirty-two feet vessel headed north towards the vicinity of the [British] Virgin Islands.

When law enforcement approached the vessel, it was dead in the water. Captaining the vessel was VI resident Shannon John. Passengers included Sean John and Emmanuel Tolentino-Lebron, both also from the VI, and Augusto RodriquezMolina, a citizen of the Dominican Republic.

667kg of cocaine discovered

Federal authorities located approximately 667 kilograms of cocaine packaged in approximately 20 block-shaped bales onboard.

All four men were arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine on a covered vessel, and conspiracy to commit the same offense, in violation of 46 U.S.C. § 70503(a)(1) & 46 U.S.C. § 70506(b).

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

CBP-AMO and Homeland Security Investigations are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter is prosecuting the case.


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