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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Virgin Islands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Puerto Rico Man Sentenced To 14 Months In Prison For Attempting To Bring Guns Into St. Thomas On Aircraft

St. Thomas, USVI - District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez today sentenced Emmanuel Benel Cuadrado, 24, to 14 months in prison for the attempted illegal transportation of guns from Puerto Rico to the Virgin Islands, announced United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Angel Melendez.

On June 10, 2014, Cuadrado, a resident of Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to count two of a twocount information charging him with the attempted transportation of firearms on an aircraft. Court records show that on April 13, 2014, Cuadrado traveled from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas on a Jet Blue flight and checked a box containing three firearms. United States Customs and Border Protection officers and Homeland Security Investigations agents intercepted the firearms prior to the flight’s departure from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas. The three firearms were removed from the box and replaced with two fake firearms. Upon the flight’s arrival in St. Thomas, Cuadrado retrieved the box from the airport’s baggage claim area and was arrested.

In addition to 14 months in prison, Cuadrado received three (3) years supervised release, and was ordered to pay $100 special assessment. He was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

This case was investigated by HSI, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter.

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Updated June 22, 2015