Mikhail Munoz, 31, originally of St. Croix, pled guilty Monday to possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
According to court documents, on May 20, Munoz checked himself and a suitcase in for a flight bound from St. Thomas to Miami. Munoz’s checked luggage set off an alarm when it passed through the Transportation Security Administration inspection.
Inspectors reportedly found 18 “brick like” items, each of which was wrapped in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and vacuum-sealed. Each of the brick-like bundles contained a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine. Collectively, the bricks weighed approximately 19 kilograms.
This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, with a maximum of life, a term of supervised release of at least five years; and a fine of as much as $10 million, according to Shappert.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the TSA, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith J. Edwards.