St. Thomas, USVI – U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that Russell Robinson and Trevor Stephen, both from St. Thomas, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on a criminal complaint Tuesday, November 30, 2021, charging the men with conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
According to court documents, on Monday, November 29, 2021, around 10:15 p.m., a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) air patrol detected a vessel between St. John and St. Thomas, heading towards St. Thomas, that was traveling without its lights illuminated. AMO agents on board the aircraft observed the boat headed towards Vessup Beach, where the agents then observed two people on the vessel unload duffle bags from the boat to two people in a Toyota Tundra truck. The air patrol agents provided updates on the truck’s route to agents on land, who attempted to initiate a stop of the truck near the waterfront.
In response to the agents’ lights and sirens, the truck fled, traveling towards Hull Bay, where it then headed up a one-way road into a small residential area. While agents set up a perimeter at the entrance of the one-way, the AMO aircraft maintained its surveillance of the truck and observed as the passenger threw the duffle bags from the truck. When the truck returned to the entrance of the one-way, agents stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver, identified as Russell Robinson, and the passenger, identified as Trevor Stephen. Agents then retrieved the seven duffle bags that the AMO air patrol agents observed the passenger unload. The duffle bags contained a total of approximately 210 kilograms of a substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.
On December 3, 2021, Stephen and Robinson appeared before Judge Miller for a preliminary hearing and detention hearing. Both defendants were released to the custody of a third-party custodian and placed on house arrest pending the resolution of the matter.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs, and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating the case. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.