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Dominican Republic Man Faces 10 Years For Bringing 2,204 Pounds of Cocaine Here

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A native of the Dominican Republic admitted in federal court to bringing at least 2,204 pounds of cocaine to the territory by boat.

Dany Perez-Brito, 44, of Santo Domingo, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to court documents, a United States Coast Guard (USCG) aircraft detected a go-fast style vessel with no indicia of nationality located about 65 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

After being detected, the go-fast vessel led authorities on a ten-hour chase in international waters between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.

USCG personnel were able to board the vessel when it finally went dead in the water approximately 96 nautical miles north of St. Thomas.

Upon boarding the vessel, authorities discovered 52 bales containing a total of approximately 1,132 kilograms of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine.

In court, Perez-Brito admitted to having conspired to transport the cocaine by boat from Venezuela to Puerto Rico, for which he expected to be paid $200,000.

Perez-Brito faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment, a five-year term of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10,000,000.

This case was being investigated by the USCG, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith Edwards.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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