U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents arrested Copley Evans, 36, on Wednesday, November 16, for his involvement in the alleged importation of approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.
The St. Croix resident arrived at the port of St. John from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, on board the m/v Oriole ferry. Evans provided false information on his declaration to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors, according to officials.
Upon inspection of Evans luggage CBP inspectors found a package with approximately 10 kilograms of a powdery substance that when field-tested reacted positive for cocaine, according to a press release.
This seizure sends the clear message to smugglers that ICE, along with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners, is shutting down smuggling routes through the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, said Leo I. Morales, acting special agent-in-charge of ICE in Puerto Rico.
We will continue using our immigration and customs authorities to prevent the importation of narcotics, Morales said. Evans is in federal custody and was transferred to the U.S.V.I. Bureau of Prisons in St. Thomas where he is awaiting his appearance before a U.S. magistrate.
The U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of the USVI has accepted the case for prosecution.