ST. THOMAS — Mikhail Munoz, 31, originally of St. Croix, was charged with possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Wednesday. Munoz made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Tuesday and, after a detention hearing on Wednesday, Judge Miller ordered Munoz detained pending trial.
The federal complaint alleges that on May 20, 2019, Munoz checked himself and a suitcase in for a flight bound from St. Thomas to Miami. When Munoz’s checked luggage passed through inspection with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), it set off an alarm, leading to the discovery of 18 “brick like” items, each of which was wrapped in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and vacuum-sealed. Each of the brick-like bundles contained a white powdery substance that field- tested positive for cocaine. Collectively, the bricks weighed approximately 19 kilograms.
If convicted, Munoz faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, with a maximum of life.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with assistance from the Transportation Security Administration, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith J. Edwards.
United States Attorney Shappert 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 found guilty.