Daniel Santiago-Colon, 46, of St. Croix pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced.
On Nov. 13, 2016, Santiago-Colon and three codefendants were on a boat and retrieved a load of cocaine mid-sea from another boat. They transported the drugs to St. Croix and offloaded them at a beach called Knight’s Bay. Law enforcement tracked the boat to St. Croix and apprehended the three codefendants on the beach in close proximity to suitcases, which contained 87 kilograms of cocaine.
Two of the three codefendants, Gamalier Rohlsen-Arizmendi and Alejandro Marva-Romero, already have entered guilty pleas. The third codefendant is awaiting a trial Oct. 31.
Santiago-Colon faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the offense and a fine of as much as $10 million. A sentencing date has been set for Jan. 18.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews Jr.