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Dominican Man Could Get 20 Years In Prison For Selling Cocaine In St. Thomas

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A Dominican man who sold cocaine in St. Thomas faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy charges, authorities said.

Tommy Ramirez, 32, of Santo Domingo, entered a guilty plea to the charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands said today.

On February 12, 2018, Ramirez instructed 55-year-old Ramon Clavel of Haiti to go to the Emancipation Garden post office to pick up a package that contained a white powdery substance, court documents indicate.

The white powdery substance was sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory for testing that confirmed it to be one kilogram of cocaine, court documents said.

In January and February of 2018 Ramirez conspired with others to distribute cocaine. He operated through a series of text messages that were seized as part of the investigation.

Further, the investigation revealed that Ramirez and others coordinated the delivery of between 400 and 500 grams of cocaine in St. Thomas.

The offense carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to twenty years, a maximum fine of up to $1,000,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release of up to six years. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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