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Feds Explore Rock City To Hotlanta Connection After Opioid Death Here

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Federal prosecutors have charged a man with conspiracy to possess and sell a dangerous opioid following an investigation into a woman’s possible overdose death on St. Thomas, authorities said.

Elijah Hakim. 34, was arrested September 14, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia and transported to St. Thomas, USVI on criminal charges related to allegedly conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to court documents, pursuant to an arrest warrant the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested Hakim after beginning a criminal investigation in April of 2021 into the trafficking of fentanyl from Georgia to St. Thomas using the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Court documents allege that Hakim conspired to mail packages containing a total of over 40 grams of fentanyl from Georgia to St. Thomas. On April 30, 2021 a package was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which contained 150 pills weighing approximately 18 grams.

The pills tested positive for the presence of fentanyl. The investigation revealed that the package was mailed by Hakim’s girlfriend. USPS records showed that the address to which the package was sent has previously been tracked by Hakim when delivering another package.

On May 20, 2021, CBP officers in St. Thomas seized a package containing 200 pills weighing about 25 grams, which also tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.

Latent fingerprints recovered from the tape used to seal the package matched Hakim’s fingerprints.

An initial appearance was held on November 17, 2021 before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller. On November 19, 2021, Judge Miller ordered Hakim detained pending resolution of the matter.

Hakim is charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance pursuant to 21 U.S.C §§ 841(b)(1)(B) and 846. If convicted, Hakim faces up to 40 years in prison.

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

DEA, USPIS, and HSI are investigating the case, and The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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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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