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Press Release

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

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

St. Thomas, USVI – Sierra Wimberly, 25, and Noelle Bishopel, 27, both Atlanta, Georgia residents, made their initial appearances on April 7, 2016, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in separate complaints with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Wimberly and Bishopel were both released on unsecured $10,000 bonds pending further proceedings.

According to the complaints, on April 6, 2016, at the Cyril E. King Airport, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) K-9 detected narcotics in checked bags belonging to Wimberly and Bishopel, who had arrived on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta. When Wimberly and Bishopel de-planed the aircraft, they were taken to secondary inspection where their checked bags were examined. CBP officers seized and field-tested approximately 4.9 kilograms of marijuana from Wimberly’s bag and approximately 10.25 kilograms of marijuana from Bishopel’s bag.

Under federal law if convicted of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Wimberly and Bishopel each face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case is being investigated by CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard Potter.

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.

Updated April 8, 2016

Drug Trafficking