PR Man Gets 10 Years for Role in Cocaine Case

District Court Judge Anne E. Thompson on Monday sentenced Jean Cruz-Albert, a 28-year-old Puerto Rican, to a mandatory 10 years in prison for attempted possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

Thompson also sentenced Cruz-Albert to four years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a fine of $500 and a special assessment of $100.

Cruz-Albert pleaded guilty to the attempted possession of cocaine on Feb. 26, 2017. Court records reveal that between Nov. 9, 2015, and Nov. 12, 2015, Cruz-Albert and others in a drug-trafficking organization made three boat trips from St. Croix in attempt to effect a mid-sea retrieval of cocaine. They conspired to bring drugs to St. Croix and transfer the drugs to Puerto Rico.

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On Dec. 13 and 14 of 2014, Cruz-Albert and others successfully effected the mid-sea retrieval of 30 kilograms of cocaine, according to Shappert’s news release. On or about May 14, 2015, Cruz-Albert and others made another attempt to effect the mid-sea retrieval of drugs by boat. Finally, on Nov. 13, 2015, members of the conspiracy completed another mid-sea retrieval of the cocaine and were subsequently apprehended at Knight’s Bay in St. Croix.

Law enforcement agents seized 87 kilograms of cocaine and the conspirators were apprehended.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews Jr.

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