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Customs Nabs Two From Atlanta With 15 Kilos Of Marijuana In Their Luggage

Noelle Bishopel

           ARRESTED: Noelle Bishopel

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Two people from Georgia were caught with a total of 15 kilos of marijuana in their luggage on St. Thomas, according to federal authorities.

Sierra Wimberly, 25, and Noelle Bishopel, 27, each from Atlanta, made their initial appearances on April 7, 2016, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in separate complaints with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

Wimberly and Bishopel were each released on unsecured $10,000 bonds pending further proceedings, Sharpe said.

According to the complaints, on April 6, 2016, at the Cyril E. King InternationalAirport, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) K-9 detected narcotics in checked bags belonging to Wimberly and Bishopel, who had arrived on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta.

When Wimberly and Bishopel de-planed the aircraft, they were taken to secondary inspection where their checked bags were examined.

CBP officers seized and field-tested approximately 4.9 kilograms of marijuana from Wimberly’s bag and approximately 10.25 kilograms of marijuana from Bishopel’s bag.

Under federal law if convicted of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Wimberly and Bishopel each face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard Potter.

Sharpe reminded the public that a complaint 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,” he said.

Sierra Wimberly

          Sierra Wimberly on Facebook.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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