ST. THOMAS — Bert Donadelle, Jr., 25, made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in a complaint with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Mr. Donadelle was released on an unsecured $10,000 bond and to the third-party custody of his mother pending further proceedings.
According to the complaint, on Sunday, April 3, 2016, at the Cyril E. King Airport, St. Thomas, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P.) K-9 detected narcotics in a checked bag belonging to Mr. Donadelle, who had arrived on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta. C.B.P. officers examined the contents of the bag, resealed it, and placed it on the carousel for retrieval. Mr. Donadelle retrieved the bag, and a second checked bag bearing his name, from the baggage claim area. C.B.P. officers seized and field tested a total of approximately eight kilograms of marijuana from Mr. Donadelle’s bags.
Under federal law if convicted of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Mr. Donadelle faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kim L. Chisholm.
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.