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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers Arrest Georgia Man Attempting to Smuggle Marijuana to the Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI – Keenan Powell-Ryder, 20, of Gainesville, Georgia, made his initial appearance April 20, 2016, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in a complaint with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. At a preliminary hearing held today, probable cause was found to arrest Powell-Ryder, who was subsequently released on an appearance bond with numerous conditions of release.

According to the complaint, on April 19, 2016, Powell-Ryder arrived at the Cyril E. King International Airport, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on board a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta, Georgia. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers approached Powell-Ryder and asked him if he had any checked luggage, which he denied. He was taken to secondary inspection where CBP officers matched luggage containing 14.99 kilograms of marijuana to Powell-Ryder.Under federal law if convicted of possession with intent to distribute 14.99 kilograms of marijuana, Powell-Ryder faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David White.

United States Attorney Sharpe reminds the public that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 22, 2016