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Press Release

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Marijuana in Luggage on Flight from San Francisco to St. Croix

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

St. Croix, USVI – United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that Armando Antonio Mena, age 29 of Arizona, pleaded guilty on February 5, 2021 in federal court to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

According to court documents, Armando Antonio Mena traveled to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands on May 27, 2020, on a flight that originated in San Francisco, California. On that flight, he transported checked luggage containing twenty-two individually wrapped vacuum sealed bags that contained approximately ten kilograms of marijuana, the amount and packaging being consistent with drug distribution.

Mena faces up to five years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000.00. A sentencing date has been set for June 9, 2021.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa P. Ortiz.

Updated February 5, 2021

Drug Trafficking