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St. Croix’s Robert Brown Gets 5.25 Years In Prison For His Part In Chow Mein Noodles Marijuana Smuggling Operation


CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Three people — one from St. Croix and one from St. Thomas — were each sentenced in federal court for their part in a marijuana smuggling operation between Los Angeles and here.

On October 6, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez sentenced two men and one woman after their convictions on marijuana distribution charges, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

The three tried to conceal the fact that the drugs were hidden in La Choy chow mein noodle cans, Sharpe said.

Clarence Griffin, 44, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to 87 months’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

Robert Brown, 29, of St. Croix, was sentenced to 63 months’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

Jamila Felix, 29, of St. Thomas, was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

All three people were ordered to forfeit $351,000 to the United States, jointly and severally, which were the profits from the sale of the pot.

On May 16, 2016, Griffin, Brown and Felix each pleaded guilty in federal court to count one of the indictment which charged conspiracy to possession with intent to distribute up to 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

According to the plea agreements filed with the court, between July 2012 and December 2013, Griffin and Brown shipped barrels containing at least 700 kilograms but less than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana concealed in La Choy Noodle “Chow Mein” cans from Los Angeles to St. Thomas using a trucking service.

Felix later deposited the proceeds from the marijuana sales into her bank accounts in St. Thomas, and subsequently wired the proceeds electronically to Griffin and other members of the conspiracy in the mainland United States.

The case is the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Delia Smith.

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Alex
    October 14, 2016 at 3:22 AM — Reply

    I find these marijuana charges laughable, especially after finding out the feds have a patent on the plant, which they plan to make money on. Now can you imagine ALL the lives that have been ruined due to the use, sale & distribution of this plant/herb/spice only for the govt to now determine the usefulness of this product?

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