Georgia Man Charged with Attempting to Smuggle Marijuana

Keenan Powell-Ryder, 20, of Gainesville, Ga., made his initial court appearance Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in a complaint with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced.

At a preliminary hearing, probable cause was found to arrest Powell-Ryder, who was subsequently released on an appearance bond.

According to the complaint, on Tuesday, Powell-Ryder arrived at St. Thomas’s Cyril E. King International Airport on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers approached Powell-Ryder and asked him if he had any checked luggage, which he denied. He was allegedly taken to secondary inspection area, where CBP officers matched Powell-Ryder to luggage containing 14.99 kilograms of marijuana, about 33 pounds.

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Under federal law, if convicted of possession with intent to distribute that amount of marijuana, Powell-Ryder faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David White.

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