United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that federal, state, local and territorial law enforcement and prosecutors were honored in a virtual Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) ceremony Wednesday morning. The awards ceremony included presentation of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force National Award for Outstanding Investigation to the District of the Virgin Islands’ Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program for Operation Py Beto Kilo.
Awards presenters included Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force executive office and regional office personnel, representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, a USVI Superior Court judge, former federal prosecutor Alphonso Andrews and V.I. Police Department Assistant Commissioner Elskoe.
The awards ceremony acknowledged the contributions of 48 law enforcement officers, agents and prosecutors who contributed to the successful multi-year investigation, disruption The awards ceremony acknowledged the contributions of 48 law enforcement officers, agents and prosecutors who contributed to the successful multi-year investigation, disruption and dismantling of a notorious drug trafficking organization that transported 100-kilo cocaine loads from Colombia through Venezuela on fishing vessels across the Caribbean to St. Croix, Puerto Rico and Florida.
Operation Py Beto Kilo led to the June 26, 2018, conviction at the trial of drug kingpin Sergio Quinone-Davila and five codefendants on cocaine-related charges. The investigation ultimately resulted in convictions for 14 defendants as well as the seizure of 87 kilograms of cocaine and eight boats. According to U.S. Attorney Shappert, “Today’s ceremony acknowledges the tremendous contributions of dedicated law enforcement agencies and prosecution offices that work collaboratively to disrupt and dismantle major drug organizations. National recognition of our efforts in the Virgin Islands is a testament to the excellent work and dedication of our Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force partners.”
Established in 1982, the organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force is the largest anti-crime task force in the United States. It operates as an independent component of the U.S. Department of Justice and is the centerpiece of the attorney general’s strategy to combat transnational organized crime.
It identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the US by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.