Two Dominican Men Face Court in Separate Cocaine Cases

Two men from the Dominican Republic were in District Court on St. Thomas Thursday, one to plead guilty and the other to be sentenced in separate, unrelated cases involving cocaine possession, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

– Braulio Martinez, 33, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on St. Thomas to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez sentenced Martinez to 46 months followed by four years supervised release. Gomez additionally ordered that Martinez pay a $100 special assessment.

According to court documents, on or about July 25, 2017, Martinez is seen on video mailing a package from St. John to the U.S. mainland. The package was inspected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and found to contain electronic equipment with two black plastic-like wrapped packages secreted inside the equipment. The packages were brick-like in shape and each contained a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

The packages were sent to the DEA laboratory for testing and confirmed to be approximately two kilograms of cocaine.

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The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Services and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

– Domingo Diaz Diaz, 40, of the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, Shappert said. Diaz was remanded pending a sentencing hearing set for June 13.

According to court records, in February 2016, Diaz was involved in the mailing of a package through the Ottley Post Office in Sugar Estate, St. Thomas, that contained approximately four kilograms of cocaine, a controlled substance. Court records indicate that Diaz’ latent prints were subsequently recovered from inside of the package.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration , Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

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