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Press Release

Airlines Passenger Traveling from Georgia to St. Croix Sentenced to Imprisonment on Federal Charges for Marijuana in Luggage

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Croix, USVI – U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert of the District of the Virgin Islands announced that a Georgia man with ties to St. Croix was sentenced today in federal court by Judge Wilma Lewis to 4 months in prison for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

According to court documents, Ra’Kheel Velasquez, age 24, of Georgia traveled to St. Croix on March 10, 2021 on a Delta flight originating from Atlanta, Georgia. Velasquez traveled with luggage containing approximately 1.76 kilograms (approximately 4 pounds) of marijuana in four individually wrapped packages intended for distribution. In addition to 4 months incarceration, Velasquez must also serve 3 years of supervised released, pay a $1000 fine and $100 special assessment fee.

U.S. Customs Border Protection and Homeland Securities Investigation are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Ortiz is prosecuting the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated March 11, 2022

Drug Trafficking