U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Friday that a St. Thomas man was arrested Sept. 14 in Atlanta, Georgia, and transported to St. Thomas on criminal charges related to allegedly conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to court documents, pursuant to an arrest warrant the Drug Enforcement Agency, the United States Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security
Investigations special agents arrested Elijah Hakim, 34, after commencing a criminal
investigation in April into the trafficking of fentanyl from Georgia to St. Thomas using the United States Postal Service, according to a news release issued by Shappert.
Court documents allege that Hakim conspired to mail packages containing a total of over 40 grams of fentanyl from Georgia to St. Thomas. On April 30, a package was seized by Customs and Border Protection officers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which contained 150 pills weighing approximately 18 grams. The pills tested positive for the presence of fentanyl. The investigation revealed that the package was mailed by Hakim’s girlfriend, according to the news release.
USPS records showed that the address to which the package was sent had previously been tracked by Hakim when delivering another package. On May 20, CBP officers in St. Thomas seized a package containing 200 pills weighing approximately 25 grams, which also tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
Latent fingerprints recovered from the tape used to seal the package matched Hakim’s
fingerprints, according to the news release. An initial appearance was held on Nov. 17 before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller. On Nov. 19, Miller ordered Hakim detained pending resolution of the matter.
Hakim is charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. DEA, USPIS, and HSI are investigating the case and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until
proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.