Two men, Angel Miranda, a/k/a “Rasta Guy” or “Papito,” and Luis Rivera of Estate Profit, were arrested Thursday afternoon in a joint operation among law enforcement agencies and charged with eight counts of drug crimes, the V.I. Police Department reported.
The joint operation brought together members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the V.I.P.D. Special Operations Bureau.
Charges against the two include conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
The arrests followed a year-long investigation led by the DEA-HIDTA Task Force. Officers identified Miranda as a member of a cocaine and heroin drug trafficking organization operating in the Estate Profit area. Eight persons have been arrested in connection with the probe, with more arrests anticipated, the police statement said.
After the arrest of Miranda, agents noticed Luis Rivera driving onto the scene and "acting in a suspicious manner," according to police. He was detained, and a search of his vehicle revealed a .22 caliber handgun hidden underneath the steering column.
Rivera was arrested and the case is pending review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The DEA and HIDTA Task Force thanked the V.I.P.D. Special Operations Unit and the United States Marshal Service for assistance in the arrest of Miranda. St. Croix Police Chief Christopher Howell said the investigation and subsequent arrests show good police work can be accomplished with cooperation among law enforcement agencies.