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St. Croix Baggage Handler Ray Harris Jr. Faces 20 Years For Cocaine Smuggling At Henry E. Rohlsen Airport

CHRISTIANSTED – A St. Croix native admitted to a federal judge that he used his airport clearance privileges as a baggage handler to try to move hundreds of grams of cocaine through the Henry Rohlsen Airport unnoticed by law enforcement authorities — but he was not successful.

Ray Harris, Jr., 23, of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Golden Rock to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

Harris’ sentencing is scheduled for June 21, 2017, Sharpe said.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on May 4, 2016, Harris, who was employed by Worldwide Flight Services at the Rohlsen Airport, entered the Transportation Security Administration screening area before his scheduled shift.

As Harris attempted to pass through the screening area, the metal detector was triggered. A search of Harris revealed a bricklike package wrapped with gray duct tape and strapped to one of his legs.

The package field tested positive for cocaine. Harris admitted he knew the package contained cocaine and was planning to put the package in a checked bag headed to Puerto Rico.

Laboratory tests confirmed the substance was cocaine. The net weight of the cocaine that Harris possessed was 473.4 grams.

Harris faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a $1 million fine, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.

SELFIE WITH MOM: Ray Harris, Jr. and his mother Jacqueline Menders pose on Facebook. Harris posted many photos on Facebook that showed that he and his family had money for beach parties, gold jewelry and “pork skins.”

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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

3 Comments

  1. confused
    February 18, 2017 at 10:06 AM — Reply

    Yo who taught you English? Did you graduate elementary? Are you a journalist? Did you attend a college? Public or private school? This your first time covering a story? You from east or west? What does pork skins have to do with anything? You sound mad? When has someone last used the term bling bling? Since when tape turn into metal? I can’t find it on youtube.

  2. Mary
    February 19, 2017 at 12:28 AM — Reply

    What’s in the dark must come to light! They know the consequences and they still made that choice… I don’t feel sorry for the ass! Lol

  3. Sugar
    February 19, 2017 at 10:03 PM — Reply

    What kind of journalism style do you use? Trump style! You are off the hinges!

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