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Wednesday, February 28, 2024


July 23, 2001 – Corvin Modeste, 27, currently of St. Thomas, has pleaded guilty in District Court to 27 counts of smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States.
The charges stemmed from an incident in February in which Modeste and an accomplice, Ikemba Ira Alexander Barry, worked together to transport nine Syrian citizens from Sint Maarten to St. Thomas and then tried to get them to Puerto Rico.
Barry, 22, also a resident of St. Thomas, pleaded guilty in June to eight counts of smuggling illegal immigrants.
The nine Syrians traveled from Sint Maarten on Feb. 17 in an open outboard vessel. They were met the next day on St. John by Modeste, who then accompanied them to St. Tnomas on a ferry, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The nine men spent the night at an apartment Barry had rented on St. Thomas.
Modeste said the next day he rented a small power boat in Red Hook that Barry had agreed to drive to Puerto Rico. However, the boat broke down between St. Thomas and Puerto Rico, and Barry and the illegal immigrants were taken into custody.
The maximum sentence for each offense to which the two have pleaded guilty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Modeste and Barry have been released on bail awaiting sentencing. No date for sentencing has been set, the release said.

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