BVI News

Youngster caught with $200K at sea | Slapped with 12 months in prison, $11K in fines

A St Thomas man who was caught in BVI waters with $200,522 cash has been sentenced to 12 months at Her Majesty’s Prison and must pay more than $10,000 in fines.

Adriel Kadeem Richardson was slapped with the penalties after pleading guilty to ‘illegal entry’, ‘failing to declare monies to Customs’, and ‘possession of proceeds of criminal conduct’ when he appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo on Wednesday.

Breakdown of sentence

The offender was given 30 days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine for illegal entry. If he fails to pay the fine, he will spend 60 days in prison.

Richardson was also slapped with a 12-month custodial sentence for being in possession of proceeds of criminal conduct.

He was then slapped with a $10,000 fine for failing to declare monies to Customs. He will spend another six months in prison if that fine is not paid.

Magistrate DaBreo said sentences are to run concurrently (at the same time). However, she ordered that the default sentences run consecutively (one after the other) if the fines are not paid by May 11 next year.

‘I am sorry

Leading up to the sentence, Richardson had pleaded for mercy.

“I made a mistake and it is hurting my family. I am really sorry. I want to be given a second chance,” he said.

He also informed the court that he has enrolled in a college and is also a soon-to-be father.

“I am still young, and I have a bright future, and I want to put this behind me,” he told the court.

We won’t fight for the cash

In the meantime, Richardson’s attorney Leroy Jones told the court that his client was not interested in having a forfeiture hearing for the money.

“The defendant does not intend to fight for the money,” Jones said.

As such, the Crown made an oral application for the forfeiture of the funds, and the court ruled that the funds were now the property of the territory.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that on September 6, members of the Marine Unit of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force were on sea patrol when they noticed a vessel.

The complainant, along with the boat captain was observed coming from the direction of St John in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands heading to Tortola.  

The court heard that the boat was kept under surveillance as it passed the nearest port of entry in West End and continued towards Cane Garden Bay on Tortola.

The Marine Unit subsequently signalled the boat to stop and a search uncovered the large quantity of cash which was being carried in a grey backpack.

When questioned on the discovery, Richardson reportedly said the cash belonged to his father who is a businessman in the British Virgin Islands.

He and the captain were subsequently arrested and charged.

Not his first reported run-in with the law

Notably, Richardson was also charged in the USVI with a similar offence last October, media reports have indicated.

According to the Virgin Islands Daily News, on October 31 last year, Richardson was among four men charged with giving false information in relation to a quantity of cash they were transporting through the St Thomas ports.

The quartet – Deondre Ward, Ashan Beazer, Jkwon Frett and Richardson – were slapped with a single count of making a false statement.

It is reported that the men were also suspected to be part of a drug ring, and between them, had more than $40,000 in their possession.

In the case of Richardson, the media reports said he had only declared $2,000 when he arrived at a port in the USVI.

However, it is reported that he was later found to have $15,418 in his possession. It is not clear what became of that case.

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25 Comments

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  1. $200K in PUBLIC PURSE says:

    Good news. We can use that to re-build the Territory or repay what we borrow on that UK loan guarantee disaster. RVIPF we can pay off the country’s debts if you do better policing. too much proceeds of crime coming in this country that can be seized, the perps punished and the monies go into the Territory’s coffers.

    Like 25
    Dislike 1
  2. Strange says:

    So basically you are telling me that it is ok for the Government to keep and use, fully well knowing that it is illegal monies, put a youngster behind bars and make him to pay additional fines out of his own or his parents money. Why can’t the Courts pay his fines out of the money they kept?

    Like 36
    Dislike 51
  3. Really? says:

    Why doesn’t anyone ask where the money came from. If it was his father’s, how did he come by it? It seems like govt is happy to confiscate the cash rather than trying to find out what is really going on.

    Like 18
    Dislike 8
  4. Chung says:

    My thought exactly

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  5. One eye fowl cock says:

    Blood money people burn it up

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  6. Um says:

    What business is the father in? Just seems a lot of cash to give your son.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  7. LOL says:

    No money is ‘legal’, the system is all a big farce! Banks are the biggest cartel in the history of this world! Carry on!

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  8. lawyer says:

    Law enforcement does burn confiscated drugs, why they don’t burn confiscated money? If it is from illegal activities, then it should not be circulated.

    Like 9
    Dislike 9
  9. He a liar says:

    He ain’t get that money from his father. If he father had that kind of money he would have his house already built. His father is making ends meet with his business and with his wife help. He should not implicate his father in his d**g d**ling… Tortola need yo give them hard jail time.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  10. hmm says:

    WTF? so wait the guy who looted a $600 tv gets the same time as a guy smuggling drugs and money worth TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars?

    All this says is get yourselves into things because obviously the crime is worth the time.

    Make 200k on a good day and take a year jail on a bad day. well well

    I don’t know him but the man with the $600 TV needs to be freed.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  11. Teen says:

    So let me ask this is not the first time large quantity of cash are been seized from different people but what I would like to know after reading it on the news etc u hear nothing about it again where is all this money going and into what? Same thing with the Drugs and Marijuana

  12. Dummie says:

    Where you read drug was being smuggled? Smh

  13. Doomed says:

    If the courts and prosecutors continue to be so weak and inept, these SH. Its will carry on bringing the place down. Shame we can’t see them hanged.

  14. L. King says:

    And what about the money they take in cases what the defendants were acquitted, keep that money too, right?????

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