Three St. Thomas men have been arrested in two separate cases and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe said in a Monday news release.
On Friday, Reinaldo Morone, 44, and Walid John, 37, both of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, appeared before District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez on a criminal complaint charging them with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, Sharpe said.
The defendants were released on $10,000 unsecured bonds and to third-party custodians after a detention hearing on Monday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller also placed both on electronic monitoring pending further proceedings.
According to the complaint, on Friday the men attempted to sell an individual approximately four kilograms of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.
Possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine carries a sentence of not less than five years in prison and up to a maximum of 40 years, Sharpe said.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.
In the second case, Sharpe said, 30-year-old Rhasheel Charles of St. Thomas made his initial appearance in District Court Monday before Miller after being charged in a criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Charles was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending preliminary and detention hearings at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the complaint, Charles attempted to carry 3.55 kilograms of cocaine on board an American Airlines flight destined for Miami, Florida, Sunday when a Customs and Border Protection canine alerted on the bag he was carrying.
Possession with the intent to distribute that quantity of cocaine carries a sentence of not less than five years in prison and up to a maximum of 40 years.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.