Incoming St. Croix Airline Passenger Arrested with Over 12 Kilograms of Marijuana in Her Luggage

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FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines plane takes off from Sydney Airport in Sydney

ST. CROIX, USVI – U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that a St. Augustine, Florida woman was arrested on November 6, 2021 in St. Croix on criminal charges relating to her travel to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands from Charlotte, North Carolina via airline on November 6, 2021. According to court documents, she possessed two checked bags that contained 13 individually vacuum-wrapped bags with approximately 12.5 kilograms of a green leafy substance which tested positive for marijuana.

Court documents allege that Cynthia Ines Fernandes, age 33, possessed with the intent to distribute the 13 individually wrapped vacuum sealed packages of marijuana, found wrapped in between clothing. An initial appearance was conducted on November 8, 2021 before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon, Jr., who set a preliminary hearing date of November 18, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

If convicted, she faces a maximum of 5 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Customs Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa P. Ortiz is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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