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St. Thomian and BVIslander Face 40 Years In Prison After Their Arrests With Nearly 18 Ounces of Cocaine

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A St. Thomian and a British Virgin Islands native were in federal custody today on charges that they tried to sell a small amount of cocaine.

Dexter Harley, 32, of Road Town, Tortola, BVI, and Jose Squiabro, 44, of St. Thomas, were each detained today pending further proceedings after their arrests on Monday, March 19, 2018, for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Each man made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Monday after being charged in an indictment.

According to the indictment, from December 15, 2015 to February 9, 2016, Harley and Squiabro conspired to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams (17.6 ounces) or more of a substance that contained cocaine.

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine in the amount for 500 grams or more carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Shappert said that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.

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

The case is a result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anna Vlasova.


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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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