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Texas Drug Mule Faces 5 Years In Prison For Bringing 20 Pounds of Weed To St. Croix

CHRISTIANSTED – A Texas drug mule who was to be paid only $1,500 for smuggling 20 pounds of marijuana from Dallas to St. Croix now faces five years in prison for her exploits, authorities said.

Kieantia Thomas-Okeke, 38, of Dallas, pled guilty to one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in U.S. District Court on Monday, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

This offense carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to five years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release of at least two years, according to Shappert.

Sentencing is set at the Almeric L. Christian Federal Building and Courthouse in Golden Rock for October 23.

According to court documents, on March 5, 2018, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine alerted on Thomas-Okeke after she exited inbound American Airlines flight #2317 from Miami, Florida, at the Henry E. Rohlsen airport in St. Croix.

Thomas-Okeke was then handcuffed and escorted to the designated secondary inspection room.

There CBP officers searched Thomas-Okeke along with her carry-on suitcase. Inside the carry-on suitcase, a green leafy substance inside plastic wrapped brick shaped packages was discovered along with stacks of cash.

The substance field-tested positive for marijuana. The marijuana weighed 9.11 kilograms (20.08 pounds) and the confiscated currency totaled $39,980.

Travel records for the defendant showed that she was traveling from Dallas, TX, with a layover in Miami and had planned to return to Dallas, TX, the next day.

When asked about her compensation for traveling to St. Croix with the drugs and cash, the defendant advised that her flight to St. Croix was paid for and she was going to receive $1,500 when she returned to Dallas.

The case was investigated by Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations.

The DEA Southeast Laboratory in Miami analyzed the marijuana.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston prosecuted the case.

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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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