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Accused St. Thomas Coke Dealer Rhasheel Charles Appears In Federal Court


ACCUSED COKE DEALER: Rhasheel Charles (right)

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A 30-year-old St. Thomas man is facing federal charges that he tried to distribute 7.83 pounds of cocaine, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rhasheel Charles made his initial appearance in District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Monday after being charged in a criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

Charles was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending preliminary and detention hearings today at 1:30 p.m.

According to the complaint, on October 23, 2016, Charles attempted to carry 3.55 kilograms of cocaine on board an American Airlines flight destined for Miami, Florida, when a Customs and Border Protection canine alerted on the bag Charles was carrying.

Possession with the intent to distribute that quantity of cocaine carries a sentence of not less than five years in prison and up to a maximum of 40 years.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

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

Sharpe said that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.

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

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