CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A St. John man and a native of the Dominican Republic admitted in federal court that they tried to smuggle illegal aliens into the territory, authorities said.
Brice Todman, 36, of Cruz Bay, and Jose Alfredo Rondon Castro, 40, of the Santo Domingo, each pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said
Todman pleaded guilty to bringing aliens into the United States and Castro pleaded guilty to illegal re-entry into the United States, according to Shappert.
Todman’s sentencing is set for February 13, 2019 and Castro’s sentencing is set for March 14, 2019.
According, to court documents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) apprehended a vessel in the area of North Haulover Bay, St. John after agents observed the vessel operating with no lights. After the vessel was stopped, AMO agents observed five male individuals on board.
The ensuing investigation identified Todman as the captain and the other four male individuals, including Castro, as persons who were not U.S. citizens.
Castro had been previously ordered deported in February 2018 and did not have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to re-enter the United States.
Todman and Castro each face sentences of up to ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Unit (AMO).
It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.