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Drug Queenpin Nilda Morton Thumbs Nose At Feds, Gets Three More Years In Prison

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – An Anguilla native who agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to get a lighter sentence — refused to testify again in court — and was promptly given an additional three years in prison by a federal judge.

Nilda N. Morton, 33, of The Valley was sentenced on Thursday to 37 months (3.083 years) in prison, to be run consecutively from any other sentence she is currently serving, for her contempt of Court for her refusal to testify in a revocation proceeding, after being ordered by the Court to respond to questioning by the prosecution, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Gomez also sentenced Morton to three years of supervised release, also consecutive, 400 hours of community service, a $2,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.

Morton is currently serving eight years for drug smuggling related convictions — her new sentence brings her total sentence to at least 11 years in prison.

On April 30, 2018, Morton was found guilty, by a jury of failing to answer questions of the prosecutor and the judge after being advised on numerous occasions that the Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination was not applicable in her case.

According to court testimony, Morton was called to testify as a witness in a revocation proceeding surrounding events directly related to her own criminal narcotics case, a case in which she had previously pled guilty and signed an agreement to cooperate with the government. As one of the conditions of her cooperation agreement, she agreed
to testify fully and truthfully about her knowledge and participation in any crimes.

During the revocation hearing, she chose to invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege as to other questions directly
pertaining to her underlying case – a privilege she had previously waived by her guilty plea and cooperation agreement.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Delia Smith.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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