Raymond Brown made an expensive phone call and on Thursday he paid the bill for it when District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez sentenced him to 48 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced that Brown was sentenced for using a communication facility to facilitate a federal drug crime.
Brown, 29, was arrested July 17, 2013, as part of the investigation of Roberto Tapia, who at the time was director of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Enforcement. Brown was charged on Nov. 7 in a 69-count third superseding indictment, along with seven other defendants: Angelo Hill, Hector Alcenio, Angel Negron-Betran, Eddie Lopez- Lopez, Stephen Torres, Walter Hill and Edwin Monsanto.
On March 27 Brown was found guilty by a St. Thomas jury to one count of use of a communication facility to facilitate a federal drug crime. Evidence introduced at trial showed that on Dec. 2, 2012, Brown spoke to Tapia on a cellular telephone to arrange the distribution and transportation of two kilograms of cocaine, Sharpe said. The evidence further showed that Tapia then transported the cocaine from St. Thomas to a buyer in Puerto Rico.
The case was investigated by the Public Corruption Task Force, which is made up of FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Virgin Islands Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly B. Lake prosecuted the case.