BVI News

BVI trio facing life in prison in the USVI for 667 kilos of cocaine

US Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations.

Three British Virgin Islands citizens are now facing the possibility of life in prison in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) for more than 600 kilograms of cocaine that was allegedly found in the vessel on which they were travelling.

In a press release by the US Attorney’s Office District of the Virgin Islands, the three BVIslanders were apprehended with a fourth person — a citizen of the Dominican Republic. They were charged with illegal possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after the vessel was apprehended by USVI law enforcement off the shores of St Croix.

According to the press release, the USVI’s Customs & Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (CBP-AMO) along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) detected a 32-foot vessel headed north towards the vicinity of the BVI at approximately 3:30 pm on January 9. When law enforcement approached the vessel, it was dead in the water.

“Captaining the vessel was British Virgin Islands resident Shannon John. Passengers included Sean John and Emmanuel Tolentino-Lebron, both also from the BVI, and Augusto Rodriquez Molina, a citizen of the Dominican Republic,” the press release said.

“Federal authorities located approximately 667 kilograms of cocaine packaged in approximately 20 block-shaped bales onboard. All four men were arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine on a covered vessel, and conspiracy to commit the same offence,” the release added.

“If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment

CBP-AMO and Homeland Security are investigating the case. The case will also be prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Everard Potter. As the crime for which they are charged is a federal offence in the USVI jurisdiction, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

The release further noted the arrest is part of the efforts 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.

Recently, the BVI Authorities captured Jose Almestica who, according to the Commissioner of Police Mark Collins, is a major player in the drugs and arms trade in the USVI and the BVI.

It was revealed that 20 guns, including seven high-powered weapons, were found at the residence of Almestica in Ballast Bay. The police also found more than 500 kilos of cocaine, 5.8 kilos of marijuana, cash, and counterfeit money. Almestica was also wanted by the USVI authorities.

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  1. not fair at all says:

    The jumbees shut down the engines

    Like 13
  2. Belonger says:

    So many of our children have lost their way because of cocaine and other illicit drugs.
    We need to stop supporting those who engage in damaging our children. Some people turn a blind eye because all they are looking at the financial gains. They are not looking at the damage to the young people. Some go mad after a while. It also brings with it crime and violence. Many of the drug dons are brutal-something goes wrong and they have no mercy. All they care about is the money. Let’s support those activities that will uplift our children,not destroy them.

    Like 37
    Dislike 1
  3. Great news says:

    Good thing the US waited and apprehended them. In the US they will be in jail for at least 20 years. In the BVI it would be 20 days or less, especially if they gots a politician family.

    Like 61
    Dislike 4
    • Jail is the answer? says:

      But the Europeans they supplying who snorting powder soo heavy never see a lick of time.

      The system and the foolery.

      Like 4
      Dislike 6
  4. Jim says:


    The third pillar of the economy just took another hit. When will it end?

    Like 22
    Dislike 6
  5. VG says:

    Harsh punishment is a must, the drug runners are free to roam here in the BVI.

    Like 31
    Dislike 2
  6. And says:

    the real drug suppliers and facilitators never are looked at, considered, suspected or targeted. Wonder why? Skin power maybe?

    Like 10
    Dislike 6
  7. @ JIM says:

    ask goldylox on the yellow 💛site /he only posting history of England from the 18th century and boris , jaspert Cindy and now the COI

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  8. Rex FeRaL says:


  9. Stupes says:

    It’s interesting that this carries a life sentence while white police officers in America are hunting down and murdering black men and getting 3 years.

    • Oh please says:

      Different crimes have different penalties. But of course for you it is all about skin pigmentation. You have a seriously problematic insecurity issue that you project into the world.

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
      • Cornelius says:

        You must be a blind fool. The whole world based things on pigmentation these days. It’s all over the news, but some fail to call it what it really is but you my dear friend described it well.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t really believe that do you?

      Statistically speaking, you have a better chance at getting struck by lightening than you do being an unarmed black person in the USA shot by a cop. It does happen and it is terrible. There are bad cops, just like any profession, but the vast majority of them are amazing people.

      If you’re worried about black lives in America, the number one killer is black people shooting other black people. (outside of other health things like heart disease.)

  10. basics says:

    Simple way to end the cocaine trade. Stop the demand. Anyone in the USA or Europe who uses this stuff has blood on their hands. Countless innocent people die in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean well before it gets to some idiot who buys it under the guise of “harmless fun” for a night.

    You should have a moral obligation to never use it.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2

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