A St. Thomas man was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for drug conspiracy charges, U.S. Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Friday.
Matthew Hazel, 31, was sentenced to 120 months in prison along with a five-year supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person after pleading guilty on Aug. 18, 2022, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person in connection with a drug deal that occurred at the Havensight Mall on St. Thomas. In addition, Hazel must also pay a $200 special assessment, according to the press release.
According to court documents, on Oct. 13, 2021, police arranged for a confidential Source (CS) to purchase 25 kilograms of cocaine for $312,000. On Oct. 14, 2021, agents and the CS arrived at the Havensight Mall for the purchase of the cocaine. Hazel arrived driving a black sedan and spoke with a few men before he exited the vehicle as the trunk of the vehicle sprung open. Police observed Hazel and the CS, confirming the presence of the suspected cocaine the CS gave a signal to the agents, and arrested Hazel and the other men.
After the arrest, agents recovered approximately 25 brick-like packages of suspected cocaine from the trunk of the vehicle and one loaded semi-automatic handgun, police said.
This case is being investigated jointly by the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, Air Marine Operations, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Virgin Islands Police Department.