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Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesVIPD Seizes More Than $300K in Foiled Drug Deal

VIPD Seizes More Than $300K in Foiled Drug Deal

Police on St. Thomas confiscated more than $300,000 and arrested three Puerto Rico residents in an investigation spurred by reports of a planned drug deal.
On Friday the V.I. Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit received information about a planned narcotics transaction at the Villa Blanca Hotel.
CIU, with the assistance of VIPD Major Crime detectives, and the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force conducted surveillance of the hotel.
Based on the information they gathered, the units converged on the hotel at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and detained three men for questioning.
A search of the room rented by 29-year-old suspect Alexis Acosta-Monell uncovered a Glock .40 caliber handgun, three magazines containing 44 rounds for a .40 caliber pistol, and approximately $310,820 in cash.
Monell was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. Monell’s brother, Jose R. Acosta-Monell, 32, and 35-year-old Edwin Morales, who were also occupants of the hotel room, were charged with constructive possession of an unlicensed firearm. The seized cash was turned over to HIDTA for safekeeping.
Alexis Acosta-Monell is a resident of Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Jose R. Acosta-Monell is a resident of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Edwin Morales is a resident of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
None of the three suspects were able to post the $50,000 bail and were remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending further court action.
Police Commissioner Novelle E. Francis Jr. said information received on the drug transaction indicated that the suspects would complete their mission in the territory “by any means necessary,” and said if not for the professionalism of local law enforcement, there might have been a tragedy during the capture of these individuals.
“The police department continues to be challenged by individuals bent on continuing the drug trade in the Virgin Islands, and the use of firearms goes hand in hand with the drug trade," Francis said.

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Police on St. Thomas confiscated more than $300,000 and arrested three Puerto Rico residents in an investigation spurred by reports of a planned drug deal.
On Friday the V.I. Police Department's Criminal Intelligence Unit received information about a planned narcotics transaction at the Villa Blanca Hotel.
CIU, with the assistance of VIPD Major Crime detectives, and the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force conducted surveillance of the hotel.
Based on the information they gathered, the units converged on the hotel at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and detained three men for questioning.
A search of the room rented by 29-year-old suspect Alexis Acosta-Monell uncovered a Glock .40 caliber handgun, three magazines containing 44 rounds for a .40 caliber pistol, and approximately $310,820 in cash.
Monell was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. Monell’s brother, Jose R. Acosta-Monell, 32, and 35-year-old Edwin Morales, who were also occupants of the hotel room, were charged with constructive possession of an unlicensed firearm. The seized cash was turned over to HIDTA for safekeeping.
Alexis Acosta-Monell is a resident of Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Jose R. Acosta-Monell is a resident of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Edwin Morales is a resident of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
None of the three suspects were able to post the $50,000 bail and were remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending further court action.
Police Commissioner Novelle E. Francis Jr. said information received on the drug transaction indicated that the suspects would complete their mission in the territory “by any means necessary,” and said if not for the professionalism of local law enforcement, there might have been a tragedy during the capture of these individuals.
“The police department continues to be challenged by individuals bent on continuing the drug trade in the Virgin Islands, and the use of firearms goes hand in hand with the drug trade," Francis said.