April 9, 2003 – A federal court appearance by two V.I. law-enforcement officers accused of conspiring with suspected drug dealers was cloaked in secrecy on Wednesday, while District Court records indicated the existence of a third defendant.
Three case numbers appearing on the Wednesday docket for U.S. Magistrate Geoffrey Barnard were marked "under seal." Planning and Natural Resources Department enforcement officer Montclaire Guishard and Police Officer Raphael Cintron had been scheduled for a bail hearing before Barnard, having made their initial appearance at the magistrate's bench earlier this week.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Azekah Jennings said the hearing was sealed because of the sensitive nature of the case. Both officers face charges of drug conspiracy. Guishard faces an additional charge of accepting a bribe.
However, Jennings said the two cases are not necessarily linked. (See "Details of officers' drug arrests sketchy".)
Jennings declined to comment Wednesday on the number of defendants appearing at the bail hearing.
On Tuesday, Jennings announced that more details about the cases would be made public at a press conference to be held Monday on St. Croix. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney David Nissman sent out a notice to the news media of the 10:30 a.m. meeting at the Almeric L. Christian Federal Building.
The notice said that Nissman "and other federal and territorial law-enforcement officials will make an announcement and respond to media inquiries about the recent joint law-enforcement operation in which several individuals were arrested on, among other things, drug conspiracy charges."
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