Dany Perez-Brito, a 45-year-old Dominican Republic national, was sentenced Friday in federal court on St. Thomas to 135 months (11 years and three months) in prison for trafficking more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
According to court documents, Perez-Brito was one of three individuals apprehended on Dec. 11, 2018, onboard a go-fast vessel loaded with more than 5,000 bales containing a total of approximately 1,132 kilograms of cocaine. A U.S. Coast Guard aircraft detected the go-fast style vessel about 65 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico. After the boat was detected by USCG aircraft and maritime personnel, the go-fast vessel led authorities on a ten-hour chase in international waters between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas until the go-fast boat finally became dead in the water approximately 96 nautical miles north of St. Thomas.
In court, Perez- Brito admitted to having conspired to transport the cocaine by boat from Venezuela to Puerto Rico, for which he expected to be paid $200,000.
This case was being investigated by the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith J. Edwards is prosecuting the case, which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation. According to Shappert’s news release, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.