A Jungle Drums moment as we break the news on the recent arrests in the BVI: Roberto Harrigan (Tico), 31, a customs officer, (k9 unit – see below), of the British Virgin Islands; and Earl DelVille Hodge, 51, a suspected go-fast boat operator, also of the British Virgin Islands. Chad Skelton and Carlston Beazer have also been arrested for conspiring to import and distribute cocaine in the United States.
All men will be extradited to the United States to face federal charges. Additional arrests have been made as part of a major drug bust on a cocaine operation in the British Virgin Islands.
“As part of a shift in focus from the Mexican border to the Caribbean as a major drug route, the DEA has announced many arrests, including the most recent ones in the BVI:
“So far, the U.S. has indicted more than 100 defendants in Miami as a result of that initiative, Ferrer said. But the focus Thursday was on the Caribbean, which has been used for years by Colombian traffickers to ship cocaine — mainly through Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas — to the United States. Current seizure statistics were not available.
“We still see the majority of cocaine coming into the United States across the Southwestern border,” said DEA special agent in charge Mark Trouville. “But the more our efforts increase there, the more we worry here.”
The trend is part of an ongoing cycle in the U.S. drug war. Trouville, a longtime DEA agent, noted that back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the government’s crackdown in the Caribbean is what shifted the trafficking to the Mexican corridor.
Authorities said that nine of the 13 defendants have been arrested, including alleged ringleader Roberto Mendez-Hurtado, 51, of Colombia; Roberto Harrigan, 31, a customs officer, (k9 unit – see below), of the British Virgin Islands; and Earl DelVille Hodge, 51, a suspected go-fast boat operator, also of the British Virgin Islands.
The four fugitives are Alvaro Ricardo Nino-Bonilla, 40, of Colombia; Jorge Ivan Riveros, 38, of Colombia; Samuel Javier, 57, of the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Narciso Rondon-Mejia, 48, of Puerto Rico.”
The Comptroller affirmed that it was and stated that the Customs Department had the most successful K-9 unit in the Caribbean and confidently stated that it was possibly one of the best in world. He added that a K-9 handler,
Mr. Roberto Harrigan recently received one of the highest ratings at a US training facility and highlighted the fact that Mr. Harrigan was the only international student to have ever received that rating.”