Above: Southern District Courthouse in Miami
By the Caribbean Journal staff
US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo Ferrer today announced the unsealing of a July indictment against 13 individuals charged with a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that extended from Colombia and Venezuela to the British Virgin Islands.
Among 13 charged in the 19-count indictment are six residents of the British Virgin Islands, including Robert Harrigan, 31, Earl DelVille Hodge, 51, Juan Figueroa-Valdez, 38, Carlston Beazer, 33, and Chad Skelton, 37.
Five were arrested in Tortola early this morning, including Hodge, who was described by the US as a federal fugitive and cocaine trafficker. Four of the defendants remain at large.
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to transport multi-hundred kilogram olds of cocaine from Apure, Venezuela to the British Virgin Islands, where the cocaine was dropped into the ocean. The co-conspirators then used fat boats to retrieve the cocaine from the Caribbean sea, intending to distribute it in the US.
Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, US Homeland Security and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, who were supported by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.