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VIPA Officer Caught With 28 Pounds of Cocaine At Airport

CHRISTIANSTED – A VIPA officer was stopped with about 28 pounds of cocaine at the St. Croix airport, authorities said.

Wayne Jeffers, of St. Croix, appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Emile A.Henderso n, III for an initial appearance stemming from his May 20, 2022, arrest on illegal drug possession charges, U.S. Attorney Delia L. Smith said.

Jeffers, 52, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Smith said.

Jeffers faces a minimum sentence of ten (10) years in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million if convicted.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of May 11, 2022, Jeffers, a Virgin Islands Port Authority Officer at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, placed a suitcase containing 12 brick-shaped objects onto the driver’s side floor of a ladder truck on the ramp of the airport. The suitcase was seized later that morning and the brick-shaped objects tested positive for cocaine.

The approximate weight of the cocaine is 12.6 kilograms.

This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Huston.

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.

United States Attorney Smith reminds the public that a criminal complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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

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