Two U.S. Virgin Islands police officers are among six people who were arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine after more than 700 pounds of coke was found in luggage during a routine airport X-ray baggage inspection.
The cocaine was found wrapped in 294 plastic-covered bricks after a charter flight from the Virgin Islands landed at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on Tuesday night, the Miami Herald reported.
“The bricks were inside several duffle bags and suitcases belonging to the only passengers on the private plane,” according to a criminal complaint filed by Homeland Security Investigations, according to NBC Miami.
Four of the six people charged were aboard the plane. They are U.S. citizens living in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, according to the complaint.
They include Virgin Islands police officers Shakim Mike, 29, and Teshawn Adams, 26, (who are both with the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department). Accompanying the police officers on the flight were Maleek Leanard, 27, and Roystin David, 28. Two other men — Trevon Adams, Teshawn’s twin brother, of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Anthon Berkeley, 26, of Orlando — were waiting at the Opa Locka Airport to transport the men and the cocaine to other parts of Florida, according to the complaint.
Mike fled the airport when the baggage was being inspected but later surrendered. During questioning, Teshawn Adams told customs officers that he and Mike arranged to smuggle the coke out of St. Thomas on the private charter flight, officials said.
He told agents that Mike paid half of the charter fees — $11,000 — up front, and then gave money orders to Teshawn Adams to pay another $11,000, the Herald reported.
Criminal complaints were filed by the United States Attorney of the Southern District of Florida and Customs and Border Protection officers, Local10.com reported.
Police officers Mike and Teshawn Adams had passed standard background checks, Virgin Island Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor said, according to The Virgin Islands Daily News. “There was no indication by VIPD that they were involved in any illegal activities.”
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The two police officers graduated from the Virgin Islands Police Academy in 2016 and both served with the Special Operations Bureau, the newspaper reported.
David, a tax return controller with the Virgin Islands Internal Revenue Bureau, said that he did not know the bags contained cocaine, but he admitted that he helped carry and load the bags onto the plane at St. Thomas, according to Local10.com.
The Miami Herald reported that David told agents during questioning that he knew Mike and Teshawn Adams from his work with the U.S. Army National Guard. Customs officers had permission to search David’s smartphone and found messages between him and Teshawn Adams that said, “moving product,” “recruiting flight attendants,” “invest all the money from our bricks,” “meeting the big dogs in Santo Domingo,” and “living off the airport trips,” according to the complaint.