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Friday, February 23, 2024
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Six Face Cocaine Conspiracy Charges

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested six men from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico Friday and charged them with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced.

Three Dominican nationals, Alexandro Gerandino-Aracena, 39, Marco Asala, 35, and Pedro Antion Beltre Guzman, 36; and three men from Puerto Rico, Ricardo Cardona, 35, Wilfredo Perez, 30, and Jose Luis Ponce, 36, made their initial appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller in District Court on St. Thomas.

Miller remanded the men into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending a preliminary and detention hearing Tuesday.

According to the complaint, the men conspired to possess more than five kilograms of cocaine. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute is life in prison and a fine of $50 million.

The case is the result of a joint investigation by the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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