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BVI Native Gets 10 Years In Prison For Hiding 22 Pounds of Cocaine In Beer Coolers

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A British Virgin Islands native was given 10 years in prison by a federal judge today for smuggling 22 pounds of cocaine through the airport in St. Thomas.

Ashley Warner, 54, of Road Town, Tortola, was handed that sentence by U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez for conspiracy and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Judge Gomez sentenced Warner to 120 months followed by five years supervised release, according to Shappert. He also ordered that Warner pay a $200 special assessment.

According to court documents, Warner was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Cyril E. King International Airport after it was discovered that Warner was attempting to smuggle 10 kilograms of cocaine through the airport to the U.S. mainland in coolers.

The white powdery substance discovered inside the coolers, tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately 10 kilograms.

The case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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