United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Friday that Yvette Simeina, 40, a resident of Orlando, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute approximately 6 kilograms of marijuana.
According to court documents, on Feb. 23, 2021, the defendant, Yvette Simeina flew into St. Croix on American Airlines flight #382 from Miami, Florida.
Upon her arrival, Simeina’s luggage was selected for physical inspection after an anomaly was detected while the luggage was examined utilizing an X-ray machine, according to a news release announcing the plea.
The physical hand search of the luggage revealed three wooden boxes, inside of which were several clear vacuum-sealed bags with a green leafy substance, which later field-tested positive for marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, according to the release.
The total weight of the marijuana seized from the luggage was 6.63 kilograms, the release stated. Simeina faces up to 5 years imprisonment. A sentencing date of March 22 has been set by the court.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Evan Rikhye.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.