According to court documents, on January 9, 2022, at approximately 3:30 pm, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (CBP-AMO) along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) detected a thirty-two feet vessel headed north towards the vicinity of the [British] Virgin Islands.
When law enforcement approached the vessel, it was dead in the water. Captaining the vessel was VI resident Shannon John. Passengers included Sean John and Emmanuel Tolentino-Lebron, both also from the VI, and Augusto RodriquezMolina, a citizen of the Dominican Republic.
667kg of cocaine discovered
Federal authorities located approximately 667 kilograms of cocaine packaged in approximately 20 block-shaped bales onboard.
All four men were arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine on a covered vessel, and conspiracy to commit the same offense, in violation of 46 U.S.C. § 70503(a)(1) & 46 U.S.C. § 70506(b).
If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
CBP-AMO and Homeland Security Investigations are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter is prosecuting the case.