Puerto Rican With $45K In ‘Bulk Cash’ Going Through STX Airport Could Get Five Years For Guilty Plea
RAMON L. SANTIAGO
CHRISTIANSTED – A native of Puerto Rico admitted in federal court on Wednesday to traveling with $45,249 in undeclared money through the St. Croix airport, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ramon Lacen-Santiago, 41, of Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Golden Rock to conspiracy to commit bulk cash smuggling, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.
On March 25, 2012, agents of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force received information that a person associated with Lacen-Santiago would be travelling with a large amount of cash through the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.
During a security check of Lacen-Santiago and his co-defendant, a police dog signaled on two of their bags.
Lacen-Santiago’s bag contained $6,249. A search of his person revealed another $39,000 in his pockets. Lacen-Santiago told the agents that he was travelling to St. Martin with the co-defendant. A search of his co-defendant uncovered $38,270 concealed on his person.
Neither individual reported the cash as required by law, Sharpe said. The co-defendant’s trial is pending.
Lacen-Santiago faces up to five years of imprisonment for the offense and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing date has been set for January 13, 2017.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews, Jr.
Henry Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.