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.