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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsDefendants on Trial in Drug Conspiracy Case Found Guilty

Defendants on Trial in Drug Conspiracy Case Found Guilty

U.S. Attorney Delia Smith led the prosecution in the trial of Ivan James and Joh Williams. (Source file photo)

Jurors hearing a federal drug conspiracy case took their time in delivering a verdict against two defendants on trial in St. Thomas District Court. When they were done, defendants Ivan James and Joh Williams were convicted on the conspiracy charge.

But the jury found neither James nor Williams guilty of the May 25, 2017, murder of Levar Pogson on St. Croix. James was, however, found guilty of aiding and abetting Pogson’s violent death on the basketball court of the D. Hamilton Jackson Housing Community that day.

The trial producing those verdicts lasted a little over a day and a half, with U.S. Attorney Delia Smith leading the prosecution. James and Williams were among a dozen defendants charged with being part of a criminal enterprise that smuggled drugs and weapons, robbed banks and jewelry stores, and intimidated and killed rival gang members in the late 2010s.

All defendants in the case called the Paul Girard Enterprise were charged with “knowingly and intentionally” aiding in possession with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. James and Williams, at trial, faced cocaine trafficking charges as well.

Both were found guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. Williams and James were convicted of marijuana possession. James was acquitted on the cocaine possession charge; Williams was not charged on that count.

Jurors also convicted James of trafficking three unregistered firearms — an Olympic Arms MRF AR rifle, a Glock 22 caliber handgun, and a Springfield SD .45 caliber handgun. Prosecutors provided proof that two of those weapons were used in Pogson’s fatal shooting.

District Judge Mark A. Kearney presided over the trial held in the main courtroom of the Ron de Lugo Federal Building. No sentencing date has been set.

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