District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis on Monday sentenced 31-year-old Jesus Burgos-Montanez to 68 months in prison for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
Lewis also sentenced Burgos-Montanez to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a fine of $2 million and a special assessment of $200.
On June 26, 2018, a federal jury convicted Burgos-Montanez along with five co-defendants on cocaine related charges. Evidence at trial revealed that the organization planned to retrieve more than 300 kilograms of cocaine during the period of the conspiracy. Approximately 223 kilograms of cocaine were actually distributed. Law enforcement efforts to interdict the drug shipments were successful, beginning in 2015. On Nov. 14, 2015, law enforcement agents apprehended four members of the organization, including Hodge and Burgos, on a beach at Knight’s Bay on St. Croix and seized 87 kilograms of cocaine packed in four suitcases.
Shappert said 14 individuals were originally charged as part of the drug trafficking organization. Prior to trial six defendants entered guilty pleas and were sentenced. Evidence at trial revealed that Burgos-Montanez, a Puerto Rico resident, and two co- conspirators traveled on a boat from St. Croix on Nov. 13, 2015, to retrieve cocaine mid-sea. At about 2 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2015, law enforcement agents apprehended Burgos-Montanez, along with three co-conspirators, on a beach at Knight’s Bay on St. Croix and seized 87 kilograms of cocaine packed in four suitcases.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alphonso G. Andrews, Jr. and Everard E. Potter.