BVI News

USVI captures alleged kingpin linked to BVI’s recent cocaine bust

Not the cocaine mentioned in the story. File photo

United States Virgin Islands (USVI) authorities are alleging that a man they recently charged with smuggling 433 pounds of cocaine into their territory is also responsible for the more than 2,300 kilos of cocaine recently seized in the BVI.

The November 6 seizure of 2,300-plus kilos of cocaine is the largest ever made in the BVI and in a British Overseas Territory.

USVI news outlet, Virgin Islands Daily News reports that the alleged smuggler “Ruben Reyes-Barel, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was arrested November 18 alongside four Puerto Rican men — Jorge Romero-Amaro, Giovanni Graciani, Hector Rivera and Pedro Sayan”.

The men were charged with possession with intent to distribute 433 pounds of cocaine. Under US law, the maximum penalty for such an offence is life imprisonment.

 USVI authorities believe all five men are members of a major drug trafficking organization that operates in the British Virgin Islands, St Thomas, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.   

The Virgin Islands Daily News reported that Assistant US Attorney Delia Smith — a federal prosecutor in the USVI said: “The leader of the organization, defendant Reyes-Barel, fled Tortola, British Virgin Islands, on or after November 6, 2020, after Royal Virgin Islands Police Force attempted to execute an arrest and search warrant on Reyes-Barel”. 

She added that after Reyes-Barel fled, the Royal Virgin Islands Police seized about two tons of cocaine, several automatic rifles and cellphone and personal identification owned by Reyes-Barel.

The USVI prosecutor also alleges that BVI police officer Darren Davis, and his brother Liston Davis who were arrested in connection with the recent cocaine bust acted as Reyes-Barel’s protection and secured his cocaine on their property. 

Details of capture

An affidavit from the USVI reveals that about 9:30 pm on November 18, Reyes-Barel and his four co-accused were arrested by US security forces that intercepted a vessel that was traveling from St Thomas to Puerto Rico.

As the authorities tried to force the vessel to stop, they “saw individuals onboard throwing black objects overboard into the ocean”. 

The authorities pursued the fleeing vessel until it “finally stopped”.

US Coast Guard personnel reportedly found seven duffel bags floating in the ocean which contained 187 cellophane-wrapped, brick-shaped packages of cocaine weighing about 433 pounds.

Reyes-Barel reportedly told USVI police he was trying to get to Puerto Rico and that he paid $500 to a boat captain in Tortola to transport him to St John.

He also said he didn’t know the duffel bags were aboard when he boarded the vessel bound for Puerto Rico.

In the meantime, USVI prosecutors said the five men must be held without bond pending trial because of the severity of their alleged crime, and the likelihood that they will flee prosecution and a possible life prison sentence.

It’s unclear but unlikely Reyes-Barel will be brought back to the BVI to answer to alleged charges against him.


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  1. Heckler says:

    Come on where are the BVI big fish? No way all of that just “slipped” into the Territory

    Like 36
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  2. yes says:

    send the 2 brothers over to the USVI and get rid of the problem once and fo all, they are not BVIslanders and need their Belonger status revoked

    Like 27
    Dislike 18
  3. hmmm says:

    caught with stuff over there VS alleged stuff over here. I hope we aint waste our money

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    Dislike 1
  4. Well sa says:

    Imagine the man ruben was deported from the United states in 2019 and came to the bvi and was granted a work permit. Who is responsible for doing due diligence on people applying for eork permit?? I can only imagine the # of work permit holders here that have criminal background. Come on mr Wheatley it’s not your fault but please put measures in place to nip it in the bud. The Spanish immigrants take our the drug trade in several communities on this island. What some is doing is becoming the local guys interpreter. This is a fact. And in doing this they receive their cut. Law enforcement in the bvi is incapable and cannot handle the criminal activities that is taking place and it is only going to get worst. The public need to march to the governor’s residence and asked for help. Talk show host people do listen to you whether they like you or not so call for a march.
    People come out in your numbers this march will be the most important march you would ever involve in. Things are going to get real nasty my people. Over the yrs past governments have allowed to much foreigners to get work permit without any checks and many saw the open gap to escalate their criminal enterprise. Please do something mr premier and members of cabinet. Do anything but just dont sit and do nothing.

    Like 27
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  5. USVI says:

    Damn fool. He was being watched for a very long time. Him and his gang will be cooling of in THE FEDERAL PLAY PEN FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

    Like 23
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  6. Chosen says:

    When you see them with the latest brand names expensive cars top shelves liquer big gold chain and pretty women i dont understand and get jelouse

    Like 14
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  7. Chosen says:

    There is no way them little boys could pull this big haul on their own there must have big big big biger one involve

    Like 38
  8. Ausar says:

    “Chosen”, I agree with you!

    But who, will speak up to, and call out, these high functioning men and women in the community?


    Like 16
  9. Chosen says:

    Well sa have it ever cross you mind that some of the one that approved the work permit are they were working and moving the goods for like you dont understand most of the ones in high places own big mansions in sonto domingo

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  10. Real talk says:

    From car washer to running drugs wow time to cut off these latinos head staight up

    Like 6
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  11. LOL says:

    King pin or bright pin? Jajajaja!! Give me a break….

  12. Mr Shovels says:

    Who nominated him the “kingpin” all a sudden? That’s hilarious but I guess some small fry had to take the fall to protect the actual kingpins

    Like 20
  13. Don’t worry, US says:

    By the time he gets out of Federal Prison, he will be to old to run drugs. No, the Feds don’t make deals or grant parole, if they say 20 years, you are going to serve the full 20 years. They might consider if he give up the names of the head and others in the BVI. HE SHOULD CONSIDER CUTTING A DEAL WITH THE FEDS AND GIVE UP THE NAMES. HE DOES THAT, THE FEDS WILL PROTECT HIM.

    Like 4
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  14. Ralph says:

    Why can’t Reyes Barel be extradited to the BVI after trial in the USVI? Makes no sense. Assuming he is found guilty and would have served his sentence in the USA, then ship him over to the BVI to face charges.

    Like 5
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    • Riiiight... says:

      Where he will be granted bail, or given a light custodial sentence then be released after 2-3 years. He’d disappear into the ether. I think instead, try him in absentia, with legal representation. Let him serve out a life sentence in the Federal SuperMax. Then, send the two brothers from here to answer charges in the U.S. as well. Save a pile of dough and get swift justice. Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes!

  15. pope paulie says:

    You all really think that the so call kingpin would be station in the BVI. These islands are just trans shipment points and these guys are mules.He probably don’t even know who he is really working for.

    Like 3
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  16. FEO Gomez says:

    Imagine going from car washer to KING PIN. Do the damn thing Reuben!

  17. 38 Spesh says:

    Maaaan we aint seeing REUBEN AGAIN dog. Dude was hella cool too. US you can get LIFE for major weight.

  18. Snitch says:

    Son in law of a very popular pockwood pond wood worker LMFAO

  19. Investigate! says:

    Investigate the w**** girl from the civil registry.

    Like 3
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  20. Too nice says:

    The BVI letting down their guard now trying to be nice to everyone. When you open your arms and accept people they turn around and destroy you. BVI people do not mind if they call you prejudice,xenophobic, inbred and everthing else you and your future generations will suffer if you become complacent.

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  21. Investigate! says:

    Lockup the ***|§ girl from the c**** r*******. dem boys seh she was selling the visas and harboring him

    Like 3
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  22. lol says:

    Any BVI big fish caught yet?

  23. Don't buy it says:

    If he was the king pin, you’d think he’d be smart enough not to go on boats carrying drugs or large sums. He’ll take the fall, and will be replaced by others. Too many people near the top collecting their cut for all this to fold just like that.

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