Three Puerto Rican Men Charged in Cocaine Trafficking Indictment

A grand jury returned a two-count indictment Friday charging three men from Puerto Rico, prosecutors say.

Pedro Juan Ramos-Ramirez, 27, Gerald Albert Cruz, 26, and Johnny Arias-Rodriguez, 27, were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine while on board a vessel.

According to court documents, on Dec. 29, 2021, Customs and Border Protection Air Marine Operations officers interdicted a “go-fast” vessel operating without navigational lights heading away from the northwestern coast of St. Thomas. While in pursuit of the go-fast vessel, CBP officers noticed two occupants of the vessel throwing what appeared to be black duffel bags into the ocean. CBP officers then attempted to stop the vessel and were forced to disable the engines of the vessel after it failed to comply. CBP detained the captain and two crew members, and the duffel bags were recovered from the ocean. The duffel bags contained 73 bricks of cocaine that weighed approximately 75 kilograms.

This investigation is being conducted by Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard E. Potter.