Dominican Re-Sentenced to 121 Months for Drug Charges

District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez on Thursday re-sentenced Tomas Liriano Castillo to 121 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and six months in prison for illegal entry, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

Gomez also ordered Castillo to pay a $210 special assessment and complete 300 hours of community service.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on May 9, 2016, Castillo traveled by boat from Tortola to Hull Bay, St. Thomas with a backpack containing cocaine. After Castillo got off the boat with the backpack, he tried to discard it when he saw agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approaching him.

Testimony at trial further established that when the backpack was recovered, it contained approximately 5.8 kilograms of cocaine, and that Castillo was not in the Virgin Islands lawfully.

Castillo appealed unsuccessfully to the Third Circuit. Although the Third Circuit affirmed the convictions, it noted an error in the sentence and remanded for re-sentencing.

The case was investigated by the DEA and U. S. Customs and Border Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.