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UPDATE: VIslander Earl Skelton freed from US prison

Earl Skelton, a Virgin Islander who was arrested with three others for allegedly operating a complex cocaine and crack ring on St. Thomas and St. John in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in 2011, has been set free. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Earl Skelton, a Virgin Islander who was arrested with three others for allegedly operating a complex cocaine and crack ring on St. Thomas and St. John in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in 2011, has been set free.

According to information reaching Virgin Islands News Online, Mr Skelton was acquitted of the charges on July 26, 2013 after spending some two years in a US prison. Mr Skelton's liberty is allegedly as a result of a judge's ruling that there was not sufficient evidence against him. 

On April 5, 2012, Mr Skelton was convicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine; Jerome Potter of St. John was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and use of a communications device during the distribution of a controlled substance and James Stephens, who resides on St. Thomas, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and the sale or distribution of a controlled substance. Furthermore, St. Thomas resident Kassar Chitolie was convicted of the sale or distribution of a controlled substance, sale or distribution of marijuana, and the use of a communications device during the distribution of marijuana as well.

The four men, and eight other St. John and St. Thomas residents, were nabbed by federal agents on May 6, 2011, after a sting operation which involved an early morning drop of a “fake 300-kilogram bail of cocaine” off the coast of St. John, according to reports.

Reports also state that the three men initially convicted with Mr Skelton remain incarcerated.

See previous story posted July 12, 2012

Earl Skelton fingered in USVI drug bust to know fate today!

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, USVI – Earl Skelton, a Virgin Islander who was found guilty with three others for allegedly operating a complex cocaine and crack ring on St. Thomas and St. John in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), will know how many years he will spend behind bars today, July 12, 2012.

The men will appear in the District Court this morning.

On April 5, 2012 around 11:30 p.m. the jury presented the verdict to District Court Judge Curtis Gomez of the men’s guilt.

Skelton was convicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine; Jerome Potter of St. John was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and use of a communications device during the distribution of a controlled substance and James Stephens, who resides on St. Thomas, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and the sale or distribution of a controlled substance.

Furthermore, St. Thomas resident Kassar Chitolie was convicted of the sale or distribution of a controlled substance, sale or distribution of marijuana, and the use of a communications device during the distribution of marijuana as well.

The four men, and eight other St. John and St. Thomas residents, were nabbed by federal agents on May 6, 2011, after a sting operation which involved an early morning drop of a “fake 300-kilogram bail of cocaine” off the coast of St. John, according to reports.

During the four-day trial, federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation shared details of their more than year-long investigation into the St. John and St. Thomas drug ring, according to reports.

Testimony detailed two confidential informants and more than 10,000 hours of wire-tapped cell phone conversations about drug deals, the V.I. Daily News had reported.

U.S. Virgin Islands attorneys Rafael Muilenburg represented Skelton; Boyd Sprehn represented Chitolie and Francis Jackson Jr. represented Stephens, according to the V.I. Daily News report. Potter was represented by Philadelphia-based attorney Daniel Cevallos.

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