Dequan Forde, 21, of St. Croix, pled guilty June 6 in federal District Court to one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
This offense carries a possible sentence of of as much as five years incarceration, a maximum fine of $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release of at least two years. Sentencing is set for Oct. 9.
According to court documents, on Jan. 31, 2018, the defendant traveled on American Airlines Flight 2317 from Miami to St. Croix. Upon his landing at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix his luggage was subjected to an X-ray examination, which displayed unusual packaging. A physical examination of the luggage revealed a laundry bag that contained two vacuum-sealed bags containing suspected marijuana. The luggage was subsequently placed on the baggage carousel where the defendant retrieved it.
The total gross weight of the marijuana was approximately 9.4 kilograms, or approximately 20 pounds.
The case was investigated by Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations and the marijuana was analyzed by the DEA Southeast Laboratory in Miami. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston prosecuted the case.