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Press Release


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

St. Croix, VI – United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced today that Alonso Hernandez-Hernandez, 38, of Costa Rica, was sentenced by District Judge Wilma Lewis to 57 months of incarceration and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy charges.

According to court documents, on November 7, 2022, while patrolling in international waters, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Campbell intercepted a go-fast vessel approximately 65 nautical miles south of Boca Chica, Panama. The go-fast vessel “Agamenon” had no physical flag flown and no registration documents. Onboard the vessel were Hernandez-Hernandez and Luis Orellana-Orellana and Keyran Coto-Lopez, both of Columbia, along with 1,860 kilograms of marijuana. Hernandez-Hernandez claimed Colombian nationality for the vessel. Colombian authorities, however, could neither confirm nor deny nationality. The vessel was therefore treated as one without nationality, subjecting it to the jurisdiction of the United States. On November 8, 2023, Coto-Lopez was sentenced to 46 months of incarceration, and on November 28, 2023, Orellana-Orellana was sentenced to 37 months of incarceration for the roles in the drug smuggling operation. All three face deportation after serving their prison sentences.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel H. Huston and Melissa Ortiz. 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 June 17, 2024

Drug Trafficking