Zion Hazel, a 22-year-old Crucian, pled guilty Wednesday in District Court on St. Croix to one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert announced.
In a news release issued Thursday, Shappert said the charge, a federal offense, carries a possible sentence of five to 40 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is set for April 3.
According to court documents, on April 12, 2018, Hazel and co-defendant Don-Luke George conspired to bring 2,010 grams of cocaine – 2.01 kilograms – into the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport with the intent to transport the cocaine to Miami via an American Airlines flight. George, who was employed at the airport, smuggled four bricks of cocaine into the passenger waiting area of the airport and delivered them to Hazel in the handicap stall of the men’s restroom. Hazel was a passenger on the outgoing American Airlines flight, but was intercepted with the cocaine prior to boarding his flight by Customs and Border Protection officers, court records show.
The case was investigated by Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations. The cocaine was analyzed by the DEA Southeast Laboratory in Miami. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Huston prosecuted the case.