St. Croix Woman Sentenced for Attempting to Smuggle Marijuana from Florida Through the Cyril E. King Airport

St. Thomas, USVI – U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that Raquel Rivera, from St. Croix, was sentenced for the federal crime of possession with intent to distribute 6 kilograms of marijuana. Rivera was convicted at trial in May of 2021.

On Wednesday, November 3, 2021 Chief Judge Robert A. Molloy sentenced Rivera to 5 years probation.

Evidence presented at trial established that Rivera was stopped on April 22, 2020 at the Cyril E. King airport after arriving on St. Thomas from Miami, FL. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers searched her luggage, including one suitcase checked in using Rivera’s name and one checked in using the name of someone else. Inside her luggage, officers found 12 identical, vacuumsealed bags of marijuana concealed in various items of clothing, including jeans, towels, and a Hello Kitty blanket. In total, Rivera possessed nearly six kilograms of marijuana in both suitcases. When interviewed by officers that day, she gave conflicting accounts of what was in the suitcases and who packed them prior to her travel. A unanimous jury found Rivera guilty of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha Baker and Nathan Brooks prosecuted the case.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

 – click here  –

Public Service Announcement

from the US Attorney’s Office
District of the Virgin Islands


Learn More


The Elder Justice Program stems from the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) to prevent and combat financial fraud and scams that target seniors, elder abuse, and neglect.  The mission of the EJI is to strengthen awareness about elder abuse and financial exploitation through education, build law enforcement capacity to respond to elder justice issues, and facilitate prosecution efforts to make our community safer for all.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can log on to


Report suspicious criminal activity to the ICE HSI Tip Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 866-DHS-2-ICE


Call 888-373-7888  Text 2333733  Live Chat

Disaster Fraud Hotline, 866-720-5721, email

If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721 or e-mail at:


Learn More

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.


The post St. Croix Woman Sentenced for Attempting to Smuggle Marijuana from Florida Through the Cyril E. King Airport appeared first on Shore News Network.