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Press Release

St. Croix Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Attempting to Smuggle Cocaine Thru the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport

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

ST. CROIX, USVI - U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that yesterday, Zion Hazel, 24, of St. Croix, appeared before Visiting Judge Anne E. Thompson in U.S. District Court on St. Croix and was sentenced to 27 months in prison on the charge of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine with Intent to Distribute.

According to court documents, on April 12, 2018, Zion Hazel, along with co-defendants Keithley Parris and Don-Luke George, conspired to bring 2 kilograms of cocaine into the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport with the intent to transport the cocaine to Miami via American Airlines flight #2227.  Specifically, George, who was employed at the airport, smuggled four bricks of cocaine into the passenger waiting area of the airport, and delivered them to Hazel in the handicap stall of the men’s restroom.  Hazel was a passenger on the outgoing American Airlines flight but was intercepted with the cocaine prior to boarding his flight by Customs and Border Protection officers.

Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.  The DEA Southeast Laboratory in Miami analyzed the cocaine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston prosecuted the case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.


Updated June 3, 2021