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Contraband
02/28/2012

ICE, CBP seize 35 kilograms of cocaine, arrest 2 in St. Croix

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officers, seized 35 kilograms of cocaine Monday at the Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport in St. Croix and arrested two individuals for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Calieb Jared Webster, 29, and Jamhila Hodge, 23, both of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, were arrested when they presented themselves for pre-clearance inspection at the St. Croix airport before boarding an American Airlines flight to New York via Miami. Both passengers were traveling together but presented themselves for inspection separately.

During the inspection, CBP officers discovered a total of 21 brick-shaped objects containing a white powdery substance within Webster's checked luggage and carry-on bags and 10 additional bricks in Hodge's carry-on bag for a total of 31 bricks with an approximate total weight of 35 kilograms. The contraband tested positive for cocaine during a field test.

"HSI will continue working with our DHS and federal and local partners to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in the illegal trafficking of narcotics," said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "Those who think that the U.S. Virgin Islands are an easy transshipment point to smuggle drugs into the mainland, should think it twice. HSI and its partners are vigilant and those responsible will be arrested and brought to justice."

Those arrested had their initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon on Tuesday and are scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday, March 1 in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Division. They were transferred to the Golden Grove Correctional facility in St. Croix awaiting the outcome of their case.