Puerto Rican Man Sentenced to 108 Months on Cocaine Possession Conviction

A Puerto Rican man has been convicted and sentenced for cocaine possession, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Thursday.

Sammy Monell-Osorio, 31, was sentenced to 108 months imprisonment after being convicted of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance while on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Monell-Osorio was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay a special assessment of $100.00, according to the press release.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of Feb. 28, 2023, Customs and Border Protection Marine Interdiction officers detected a vessel traveling without navigational lights on the west side of St. Thomas heading towards Puerto Rico. Osorio, the captain of the vessel, attempted to evade the officers when they ordered him to stop. The occupants of Osorio’s vessel then threw a black bag overboard before the vessel was disabled for failure to heave to the officer’s commands. The black bag containing 18 kilograms of cocaine was later retrieved from the ocean.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Interdiction Unit and Homeland Security Investigations investigated this case and Assistant United States Attorneys Everard Potter and Natasha Baker prosecuted the case.