Augusto Rodriguez-Molina, a 37-year-old resident of Tortola and a national of the Dominican Republic, has been sentenced to 57 months in USVI prison.

This is according to an announcement made by United States Attorney Delia L. Smith last Thursday. It said District Judge Wilma A. Lewis handed down the sentence, which also includes an additional two years of supervised release following incarceration.

Rodriguez-Molina’s conviction arises from a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Court documents unveiled that Rodriguez-Molina was onboard a vessel deemed suspicious which at the time of apprehension was northwest of St. Croix in international waters on January 9, 2022.  It was intercepted by Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and deemed to be stateless and under U.S. jurisdiction after it lacked any signs of nationality such as a flag or registration documents.

During the interception, it was noted that Rodriguez-Molina was accompanied by three other persons from the BVI: Shannon John, Sean John, and Emmanuel Tolentino-Lebron. Approximately 567 kilograms of cocaine was uncovered on the vessel to which all four men subsequently pleaded guilty to cocaine conspiracy charges. They each received sentences ranging from 57 to 70 months of incarceration.