Keenan Powell-Ryder, 24, was sentenced Tuesday following his guilty plea for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
District Court Judge Robert A. Molloy sentenced Powell-Ryder to 21 months incarceration, followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $100 as a special assessment.
According to court documents, on April 19, 2016, Powell-Ryder traveled on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas with secreted bundles of marijuana in his checked luggage. After the flight landed at the Cyril E. King Airport, a Customs and Border Protection canine alerted to a bag belonging to Powell-Ryder. Officers opened the bag and discovered approximately 15 kilograms of marijuana wrapped in cellophane plastic. Powell-Ryder ultimately admitted to transporting the marijuana.
The court released Powell-Ryder pending a Nov. 3, 2016, sentencing hearing. Powell-Ryder absconded, and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. The U.S. Marshals Service located Powell-Ryder in Detroit, Michigan, in December 2019, and returned him to the Virgin Islands for sentencing.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter.