Convicted Cocaine Dealer Malachi Benjamin Charged In New Cocaine, Weapons Conspiracy, Indictment Says
FREDERIKSTED — The hits keep coming for St. Croix’s Malachi Benjamin, who was sentenced Thursday to just over a year in prison for dealing cocaine.
Benjamin and four co-defendants are facing new federal drug and weapons charges related to a series of crimes stretching back to 2013, according to an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court.
Benjamin is accused of conspiring with Ivan James, Kai James, Joh Williams and Tillisa Ceaser in a conspiracy to traffic guns and weapons through St. Croix, according to the 20-count grand jury indictment, which also seeks forfeiture of 10 weapons seized by investigators.
Those weapons include two Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns; three Glock handguns; a Colt Sporter AR-15 rifle; an Olympic Arms AR rifle; a Springfield .45-caliber handgun; a Romarm AK rifle; and a HK .40 handgun.
The charges contained in the indictment include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, manufacture with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to transport firearms, and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking conspiracy.
Not all five defendants are charged with the same crimes — Ceasar and Williams, for example, are charged only with the first count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances — and Kai James is charged with the majority of the firearms crimes.
The criminal conspiracy dates back to 2013 and continued through 2019, when James illegally transported firearms to a person living outside the territory, according to the indictment.
Count three charges that Ivan James, Kai James, and Benjamin conspired on July 14, 2017 to distribute more than 2,200 pounds of marijuana, and that Ivan James and Benjamin conspired to distribute a little over a pound of cocaine on the same date.
The three men also were charged with possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking conspiracy, with the date of the offense listed as August 3, 2017. The indictment was filed under seal on Dec. 18, and unsealed Monday. A detention hearing in the case is set for Friday.
Ivan James, 35, is also charged with first-degree murder and other crimes for the double homicide of Luis Colon and Jacobo Garcia on February 17, 2018 at the Coliseum Cockpit in Estate Glynn.
Benjamin, 25, was stabbed in the face in March and police arrested him on a warrant signed on April 26, 2017 after he sought treatment at Luis Hospital. Police had said they were also interested in speaking to Benjamin in connection with the Coliseum Cockpit double homicide.
Ceasar, meanwhile, is facing a possible life prison sentence after prosecutors said she continued arranging cocaine shipments to Florida while awaiting trial for the same crime.
She is facing additional charges in a separate grand jury indictment filed on January 30, charging her and Luis Ortiz Jr. with aiding “Amarrah Stevens, Lloyd Ferdinand, and others” with cocaine trafficking on July 11.