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Dominican National Arrested By Feds For Trying To Introduce Nearly Nine Pounds of Cocaine Into Territory

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A native of the Dominican Republic was arrested on Monday on charges related to trying to smuggle nearly nine pounds of cocaine into the territory.

Braulio Martinez, 33, of Santo Domingo, was arrested on an indictment charging him with three counts of distribution of a controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Martinez made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and was detained pending further proceedings, Shappert said.

According to the indictment, on or about July 25, December 13, and December 16, 2017, Martinez distributed more than 500 grams of cocaine.

The indictment further alleges that Martinez distributed about four kilograms of cocaine from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland.

If convicted of distribution of a controlled substance, Martinez faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00.

Nine kilograms is the equivalent of about 8.81 pounds.

Shappert said that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” she said.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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