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St. Thomas Man Who Smelled Of Marijuana At Airport Pleads Guilty To Smuggling

CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Thomas man who tried to smuggle 14 pounds of marijuana into St. Croix undetected pleaded guilty to being a drug dealer in federal court today.

Jahvar Looby, 31, of St. Thomas, appeared before Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon, Jr., in U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to court documents, on February 11, 2021, Looby and three other co-conspirators flew into the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix on American Airlines flight number 2003 from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Upon their arrival, Customs and Border Protection officers selected several pieces of luggage for physical inspection.

The CBP officers observed anomalies while the luggage was examined by an X-ray machine.

A subsequent search revealed several clear, vacuum sealed bundles containing a green, leafy substance, which later field-tested positive for marijuana.

In total, approximately 6.33 kilograms of suspected marijuana was seized from Looby and his co-conspirators.

Looby is scheduled to be sentenced on December 29, 2021, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston is prosecuting the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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