2 Pittsburgh women charged with trying to smuggle 28 pounds of cocaine into the U.S.
Two Pittsburgh women were arrested Tuesday by U.S. Customs agents at the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas allegedly attempting to smuggle 28.6 pounds of cocaine to the U.S. mainland, according to federal authorities.
U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands Gretchen Shappert said Ngoc Nguyen, 21, and Fendi Brooks, 25, both from Pittsburgh, were charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 13 kilograms of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
The pair made their first appearance before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller in St. Thomas and were detained pending further proceedings, Shappert reported.
According to the complaint, Nguyen and Brooks were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the airport after they discovered that Nguyen and Brooks were attempting to smuggle cocaine through the airport to the U.S. mainland in their checked luggage.
Shappert said in a news release that the white powdery substance, discovered in a suitcase, field-tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately 13 kilograms.
If convicted, Nguyen and Brooks each face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison and a fine of $10 million on each count.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.