March 1, 2006 — Federal and local authorities arrested 23 people and are seeking two others in an international drug sting that netted weapons, illegal narcotics and cash in St. Croix, officials said Wednesday.
Police seized an undisclosed amount of cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, six weapons, bulletproof vests, V.I. Police uniforms, ski masks and more than $60,000 in cash.
They also seized automobiles and two boats allegedly used in importing the drugs, said U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Jenkins.
The cocaine allegedly came from the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten, while the marijuana arrived through the mail from the U.S. mainland, Jenkins said.
Two U.S. Postal Service employees and an officer with the territory's marshal service were arrested on the island of St. Croix for their part in alleged drug shipments, he said.
The postal workers were Charles Francis, 34, of the Kingshill Post Office, and Valencia Thomas, 33, of the Richmond Post Office, who allegedly assisted in shipments of marijuana through the U.S. mail.
Territorial marshal Lorel Sackey, 41, was indicted for allegedly using communications facilities in furtherance of drug trafficking. Sackey allegedly provided information which aided the effectiveness of the drug trafficking organization, Jenkins said.
Also arrested were Zacheaus Blake, 32; Blaine Claxton, 25; Kalif Berry, 28; Blake's mother, Shelia Blake, 57; and his sister, Karen Blake, 35; St. Clair Liburd, 20; Randy Simon, 21; Delma Matthew, 25; Akilia Roberts, 27; Shermaine Peters, 38; Karl Christian, 24; Adilia Magrass, 25; and Akeem Bloodmar, 21 — all of St. Croix, and Shusta Gumbs, 28, of St. Thomas.
Jenkins did not release the names of two others indicted.
The quantity of drugs seized was not immediately clear, nor was it clear when the defendants might appear in court.
According to Jenkins, the investigation started in 2003.
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