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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 19, 2024


Virgin Islands-based drug-enforcement authorities may get involved in an investigation stemming from the discovery on June 30 of 275 pounds of cocaine aboard a cargo ship in New York Harbor that had sailed from St. Croix a week earlier.
The drugs were found on board the Timachevsk, a 539-foot freighter of Liberian registry. Hovensa vice president Alexander Moorehead confirmed Friday that the vessel had left refinery's cargo port on St. Croix on June 23 bound for New York with a cargo of gasoline.
New York authorities are investigating the matter. Initial media reports said no crew members of the vessel were arrested.
Richard Holmes, St. Thomas resident agent-in-charge for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, said Friday that it was the second time in recent weeks that a commercial vessel traveling through the Eastern Caribbean was found to be carrying a sizable cache of drugs. Puerto Rico authorities reported finding a quantity of cocaine aboard a cargo ship coming from St. Maarten, he said.
"We do have some interest" in the Timachevsk case, Holmes said. However, he added, "I am not at liberty to discuss it."
According to published reports, dozens of bricks of cocaine were found by a U.S. Coast Guard party that boarded the vessel to render assistance after it collided with a navigation buoy in New York Harbor. The freighter damaged its rudder in the collision, and a contractor summoned to make repairs found several burlap bags in a space in the hull above the rudder, the New York Daily News reported last week. The bags were found to contain the bricks of cocaine.
The freighter's next scheduled destination was Venezuela.

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