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Federal Agent Rappels Down To Judith’s Fancy House And Seizes 20 Kilos of Cocaine

CHRISTIANSTED — Two military-style “black ops” helicopters were used on a successful nighttime drug interdiction operation by the federal government in Judith’s Fancy on January 30, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

As one of the helicopters hovered over a house that had been targeted based on months of surveillance — a ‘heavily-armed” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent quickly rappelled down to the ground and raided a residence in Judith’s Fancy, according to information the V.I. Free Press has obtained.

The result was that the raiding DEA agent confiscated at least 20 kilograms (44.09 pounds) of cocaine from the house in Judith’s Fancy in what was called an air “stealth” operation without the participation of local police, eyewitnesses told the VI Freep.

The Virgin Islands Free Press reported on the black helicopters hovering over Judith’s Fancy as it was happening in real time on the night of January 30 — however, it was not able to corroborate what the mission of the helicopters was at that time.

The U.S. Department of Justice through the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Virgin Islands has declined to comment on the drug seizure. Historically, the office headed by U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe declines to comment on cases under active investigation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office was specifically asked which property address in Judith’s Fancy did the federal agent raid on January 30, but the online newspaper has yet to receive a response.

The second helicopter that stayed airborne during the operation was on hand for added security and back-up support in case it was needed, according to military experts who spoke with the V.I. Free Press.

Coincidentally, Gov. Kenneth Mapp was giving his third State of the Territory address at the Legislature in St. Thomas while the federal drug interdiction mission was taking place near the North Shore of St. Croix.

The day of the operation before the nighttime raid, residents noticed the DEA “drug surveillance helicopter” hovering over Christiansted town for hours at a time. It also hovered over the hilltop Recovery Welcome area and took a run to the East End that hugged the North Shore east of town, eyewitnesses said.

The day after the operation, on January 31, a marked DEA helicopter was seen flying over the area of Judith’s Fancy that was raided the previous day, according to eyewitness reports.

Only Guam and Delaware have not asked for help in drug interdiction from the U.S. National Guard.

It is not known if the black helicopters are based at the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) facility in Estate Bethlehem or if they were flown in specifically for the drug interdiction mission.

The VING does not respond to press inquiries from the VI Freep. The VING does not have any personnel who are qualified to fly such helicopters, experts said.

In a time of war, the VING personnel are used by the U.S. military for water purification purposes only.

Officially, many of the black ops helicopters used by the U.S. military fall under the Department of Homeland Security.

Federal Agent Rappels Down To Judith's Fancy House And Seizes 20 Kilos of Cocaine

BLACK HELICOPTER: A marked black helicopter like one of the ones used in the drug interdiction operation in Judith’s Fancy on January 30.

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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. Master Sergeant Karen D. Williams, Public Affairs Officer, VING
    March 7, 2017 at 8:40 AM — Reply

    Mission: Since its establishment in 1973, the Virgin Islands National Guard provides an operationally ready and capable force, comprising of both Army NG and Air NG assets, in support of a variety of requirements to the nation and the territory. The VING’s capabilities are extensive and not solely restricted to water purification support, as incorrectly stated in this story.

    The Virgin Islands National Guard Public Affairs Office is responsive to media and community inquiries. Of course, for media inquiries, timeliness to allow for response by this agency is required to meet both print and broadcast deadlines.

    For media inquiries, the VING contact is below. For other agencies, contact their respective public information offices. Note: Response protocol is to the primary agency on any mission or the site incident commander.

    Master Sergeant Karen D. Williams
    State Public Affairs Officer
    Virgin Islands National Guard
    Office: (340)712-7750
    Cell: (340)332-5541

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