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Breaking News / Crime / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / May 10, 2016

ST. THOMAS — Miguel Rodriguez, 60, of St. Thomas, Estanislao de Jesus, 47, and Tomas Miguel Liriano Castillo, 44, both of the Dominican Republic, were arrested Monday on a criminal complaint charging them with one count each of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced today.

Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. de Jesus, and Mr. Castillo made their initial appearance in court today before District Court Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller. A detention hearing is set for May 11, 2016 for Mr. Rodriguez, and May 12, 2016 for Mr. de Jesus and Mr. Castillo. A preliminary hearing is set for May 12, 2016 for all three men.

According to the complaint, Mr. Castillo came by vessel from Tortola with six kilograms of cocaine. Mr. Castillo had made arrangements with Mr. de Jesus and Mr. Rodriguez to pick him up at Hull Bay. When the boat arrived in Hull Bay, Mr. Castillo was seen jumping from the vessel with a backpack while Mr. de Jesus and Mr. Rodriguez waited for him on shore. When Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) agents approached the men, Mr. Castillo attempted to throw the backpack under a tree. The bag was searched and six bricks of a white substance were located inside the backpack. The substance field tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately six kilograms. It was determined that Mr. Castillo and Mr. de Jesus are in the United States illegally.

Possession with the intent to distribute cocaine carries a sentence of not less than 10 years in prison and up to life. United States Attorney Sharpe reminds the public that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by the D.E.A., U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, F.B.I., United States Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

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