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Mercer gets 191 months jail for cocaine smuggling @ King Airport

-also gets 5 years supervised release, 400 hours community service
October 11th, 2018 | Tags:
According to trial testimony, Mr Gerald W. Mercer was a member of a large-scale cocaine smuggling organization that operated out of the Cyril E. King Airport between January of 2012 and November of 2016. Photo: VI CONSORTIUM
VI CONSORTIUM

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI — Gerald W. Mercer, 42, was sentenced on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, to 191 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney, Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

District Judge Curtis V. Gomez, also sentenced Mercer to five years of supervised release, 400 hours of community service, and a $100 special assessment.

On June 1, 2018, Mercer was found guilty by a federal jury sitting in St Thomas.

Cocaine Organization

According to trial testimony, Mr Mercer was a member of a large-scale cocaine smuggling organization that operated out of the Cyril E. King Airport between January of 2012 and November of 2016.

The drug organization recruited a member of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Police Department’s Executive Security Unit (ESU), who used his law enforcement credentials to bypass security screening at Cyril E. King Airport, according to the release.

The organization smuggled at least 75 kilograms of cocaine from St Thomas to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, according to the US Attorney’s Office release.

The officer who transported the drugs was to be paid $2,500 per kilogram.

According to trial testimony, Mr Mercer would travel to the officer’s residence and provide him with a cellular phone, the first half of the payment, and a duffle bag containing the cocaine.

Mr Mercer would instruct the officer to purchase airline tickets and hotel reservations.

While at the residence, Mr Mercer would prepare and pack the cocaine (an average of 5 kilograms per trip) in the officer’s carry-on bag.

Upon arrival in Florida, the officer would receive the second half of his payment.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Delia Smith.

 

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