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Puerto Rico Man Gets 10 Years In Prison For Bringing 191 Pounds Of Cocaine To St. Croix

CHRISTIANSTED – A Puerto Rico man who brought 191 pounds of cocaine to St. Croix by boat got a decade in prison from a federal judge on Monday.

Visiting U.S. District Court Judge Anne E. Thompson sentenced Jean Cruz-Albert, 28, of Puerto Rico, to the mandatory 10 years in prison for attempted possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Judge Thompson also sentenced Cruz-Albert to four years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a fine of $500.00 and a special assessment of $100.00.

Cruz-Albert pled guilty to the attempted possession of cocaine on February 26, 2017. Court records reveal that between November 9, 2015 and November 12, 2015, Cruz-Albert and others in a multi-drug trafficking organization made three boat trips from St. Croix in attempt to effect a mid-sea retrieval of cocaine.

They conspired to bring drugs to St. Croix and transfer the drugs to Puerto Rico.

On December 13th and 14th of 2014, Cruz-Albert and others successfully effected the mid-sea retrieval of 30 kilograms of cocaine.

On or about May 14, 2015, Cruz-Albert and others made another attempt to effect the mid-sea retrieval of drugs by boat.

Finally, on November 13, 2015, members of the conspiracy successfully completed another mid-sea retrieval of the cocaine and were subsequently apprehended at Knight’s Bay in St. Croix.

Law enforcement agents seized 87 kilograms (191.802 pounds) of cocaine and the conspirators were apprehended.

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

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews, Jr.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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