June 6, 2005- The Drug Enforcement Administration has reported that nine Frederiksted residents were caught in a drug bust and indicted on charges of using the U.S. Post office to ship cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana from St. Croix to Fairbanks, Alaska. Other indictments were handed to residents of Alaska, Kansas and Pennsylvania. A total of 16 persons were named resulting from a four-year investigation dubbed Operation Frostbite.
Named in the indictments were Frederiksted residents Christopher Alfred, 30; Shango Allick, 23; Sheryl Carr, 26; Isaiah Fawkes, 25; Marcelino Garcia, 26; Jamal Maragh, 23; Roberta Newton, 25; Carolyn Urgent, 36 and Jamal Young, 23. Also named were Isilee Dozier, 27 and Myron Prunter, 29, of Clarksville, Tenn.; Tonisha Wade, 24 and Jimmie Rainer Jr., 29, of Fairbanks, Alaska; Shelley Leigh Stringer, 38, of Fort Riley, Kan., and David Leigh Bennett, 23, of Sayre, Pa. Another individual whose name was not released was also indicted.
Gene Hawk, St. Croix DEA resident agent in charge, said on Monday the indictments resulted from information received in 2001. Federal officers had been actively investigating the case since 2002. The multiple count indictments, returned by a federal grand jury on May 5 against the defendants, charged them with money laundering and drug trafficking resulting from activities beginning approximately June 2001, until May 2005. Anthony J. Jenkins, acting U.S. Attorney, announced the previously sealed indictments on June 2.
The indictment alleges a drug trafficking organization operating in Fairbanks, Alaska was supplied with narcotics from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana were sent, usually via Express Mail parcels, from St. Croix to Fairbanks. Members of the organization in Alaska then distributed the narcotics for financial profit. Some of the illegal drug proceeds were sent back to St. Croix, via Western Union wire transfers and money orders. Defendants and others were recruited to either send the money transfers to St. Croix or to receive the transfers in St. Croix. The government uncovered documentation showing that at least 167 wire transfers and money orders were sent between St. Croix and Fairbanks, for an approximate total value of $385,000.
The drug trafficking charge carries a mandatory minimum term of ten years, and a maximum of life in prison, along with a $5 million fine. The money laundering charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and a $500,000 fine. The indictment alleges that the government intends to confiscate all property, real and personal, involved in the offenses, and any property traceable to the violations.
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