Jesus Lebron Pinto, 29, and Geraldo Morales, 29, both of Puerto Rico, were sentenced by Chief District Judge Robert A. Molloy to 12 months and one day incarceration for their convictions of conspiracy to conceal more than $100,000 on a vessel outfitted for smuggling, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Thursday.
According to court documents, on April 7, 2021, United States Customs and
Border Protection Air and Marine officers were conducting border security patrols
at Stumpy Beach on the west end of St. Thomas. During patrol, officers observed a
wake in the ocean and the sound of a boat engine approaching Stumpy Beach.
Officers also observed a silver Ford Explorer with dark-tinted windows on land
traveling in the area of Stumpy Beach. Officers approached the driver of the Ford
Explorer who fled on foot leaving behind three large, wet black bags in the trunk of
the vehicle. The bags contained approximately $1.68 million in U.S.
currency, which was administratively forfeited. Pinto and Morales were later
apprehended after jumping from the vessel.