FREDERIKSTED — A Florida woman faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling nearly 15 pounds of marijuana in her checked luggage into St. Croix.
United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that Yvette Simeina, 40, a resident of Orlando, pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute approximately six kilograms of marijuana, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.
According to court documents, on February 23, 2021, the defendant, Simeina flew into St. Croix on American Airlines flight #382 from Miami, Florida. Upon her arrival, the defendant’s luggage was selected for physical inspection after an anomaly was detected while the luggage was examined utilizing an x-ray machine.
The physical hand search of the defendant’s luggage revealed three wooden boxes, inside of which were several clear vacuum-sealed bags with a green leafy substance, which later field-tested positive for marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance. The total weight of the marijuana seized from the defendant’s luggage was 6.63 kilograms.
Simeina faces up to five years imprisonment. A sentencing date of March 22, 2022 has been set by the court.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Rikhye.
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. Additionalinformatio n about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.