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Woman Arrested At St. Thomas Airport With 11 Pounds Of Marijuana In Luggage

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A woman was arrested at the St. Thomas airport for trying to smuggle at least 11 pounds of marijuana into the territory, federal authorities said.

A criminal complaint has been filed against Raquel Rivera for attempting to smuggle the marijuana into St. Thomas, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Rivera made her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in St. Thomas on Thursday, Shappert said.

According to the affidavit filed in the case, Rivera was stopped at the Cyril E. King airport after arriving in St. Thomas from Miami, Florida.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers then searched two separate pieces of luggage and found that she was carrying marijuana weighing over five kilograms.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and CBP.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Brooks.

A complaint is merely a charging document, and it is not in and of itself evidence of guilt, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands said.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” Shappert said.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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