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Puerto Rican Man Who Brought 191 Pounds of Cocaine To St. Croix Gets Five Years

CHRISTIANSTED – A Puerto Rican drug dealer was sentenced to 5.66 years in prison for trying to bring 191 pounds of cocaine to St. Croix.

U.S. District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis, on October 29, 2018, sentenced Jesus Burgos-Montanez, 31, of Puerto Rico, to 68 months in prison for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shapper said.

Judge Lewis also sentenced Burgos-Montanez to three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay a
fine of $2,000.000 and a special assessment of $200.00.

On June 26, 2018, a federal jury convicted Burgos-Montanez along with five other people on cocaine-related charges.

Evidence at trial revealed that the organization planned for the retrieval of over 300 kilograms of cocaine during the period of the conspiracy.

Approximately 223 kilograms of cocaine were actually distributed.

Law enforcement efforts to interdict the drug shipments were successful, beginning in 2015.

On November 14, 2015, law enforcement agents apprehended four members of the organization, including Hodge and Burgos, on a beach at Knight’s Bay on St. Croix and seized 87 kilograms of cocaine packed in four suitcases.

Fourteen individuals were originally charged as part of the drug trafficking organization. Prior to trial six defendants entered guilty pleas and were sentenced.

Evidence at trial revealed that Burgos-Montanez, a Puerto Rico resident, and two other people traveled on a boat from St. Croix on November 13, 2015 to retrieve cocaine mid-sea.

At about 2:00 a.m. on November 14, 2015, law enforcement agents apprehended Burgos-Montanez, along with three co-conspirators, on a beach at Knight’s Bay on St. Croix and seized 87 kilograms of cocaine packed in four suitcases.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alphonso Andrews, Jr. and Everard Potter.

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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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