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Dominica Native Kenneth James Makes His Initial Appearance In Federal Court On Charges He Tried To Move 26 Pounds Of Cocaine In St. Thomas

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A native of Dominica was brought up on federal charges that he tried to sell at least 26 pounds of cocaine in the streets of the territory.

Kenneth James, 51, of Roseau made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon after being charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, Acting U.S. Attorney Joycelyn Hewlett said.

James was detained pending preliminary and detention hearings set for August 17, 2017, Hewlett said.

According to the complaint, on August 15, 2017, James attempted to sell to an individual about 12 kilograms (26.45 pounds) of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

Conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine carries a sentence of not less than 10 years in prison or more than life and a $10,000,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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

Hewlett said that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

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

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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

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