A Puerto Rican man was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on drug possession charges, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Friday.
According to court documents, Carlos Caez-Torres, 45, was sentenced to 120 months incarceration on his conviction of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance while on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a special assessment of $100, according to the press release.
According to court documents, in the early morning hours of Feb. 28 Customs and Border Protection Marine Interdiction Unit detected a vessel with two people onboard traveling without navigational lights on the west side of St. Thomas heading towards Puerto Rico. CBP approached the vessel ordering it to stop, but the vessel’s operator refused to comply. The vessel’s occupants were observed throwing a black bag into the ocean. CBP disabled the vessel and later retrieved the black bag from the ocean containing 18 kilograms of cocaine.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case, and Assistant United States Attorneys Everard Potter and Natasha Baker prosecuted this case. This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.