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Deep Sea Diver Daniel Santiago-Colon Admits To His Role In Importing 192 Pounds Of Cocaine To St. Croix


CHRISTIANSTED – A 46-year-old commercial deep sea diver on St. Croix has admitted in federal court to bringing 192 pounds of cocaine here, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Daniel Santiago-Colon pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S. District Court in Golden Rock to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

On November 13, 2015, Santiago-Colon and other co-defendants, who were on a boat, retrieved a load of cocaine mid-sea from another boat. They transported the drugs to St. Croix and offloaded them at a beach called Knight’s Bay.

Law enforcement tracked the boat to St. Croix and apprehended three co-defendants on the beach in close proximity to suitcases, containing 87 kilograms of cocaine. Two of the three co-defendants, Gamalier Rohlsen-Arizmendi and Alejandro Marva-Romero have entered guilty pleas.

The third co-defendant is awaiting a trial scheduled for October 31, 2016.

Santiago-Colon faces up to life imprisonment for the offense and a fine of up to $10,000,000. A sentencing date has been set for January 18, 2017.

A post on the Internet says that Santiago-Colon was a member of the Caribbean Fishery Management Council on St. Croix and that his area of expertise was diving.

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

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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