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Press Release

Dominican Republic Man Re-Sentenced to 121 Months in Prison for Drug Charges and Six Months in Prison for Illegal Entry

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

St. Thomas, USVI – District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez re-sentenced Tomas Liriano Castillo, 44, to 121 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and six months in prison for illegal entry, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced. Judge Gomez also ordered Castillo to pay a $210 special assessment and complete 300 hours of community service.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on May 9, 2016, Castillo traveled by boat from Tortola to Hull Bay, in St. Thomas with a back pack containing cocaine. After Castillo got off the boat with the back pack, he tried to discard the backpack when he saw agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approaching him. Testimony at trial further established that when the back pack was recovered, it contained approximately 5.8 kilograms of cocaine, and that Castillo was not in the Virgin Islands lawfully. Castillo appealed unsuccessfully to the Third Circuit. Although, the Third Circuit affirmed the convictions, it noted an error in the sentence and remanded for resentencing.

The case was investigated by the DEA and U. S. Customs and Border Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.

Updated November 8, 2018