Two charged for cocaine, deceased not identified


BVI — Local police said they have charged two men arrested on Monday following an anti-drug operation in the waters of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), but they are yet to ascertain the identity of a third male suspect who was shot dead.

Those charged are 22-year-old Oidier Steevenson Triana Gomez of Venezuela, and 20-year-old Julio Leonard Minaya Tejeda of the Dominican Republic.

Each of the men will answer to a charge of unlawful possession of cocaine, as well as unlawful possession of prohibited ammunition under the new Firearms (Amendment) Act.

The operation, which unfolded early Monday morning (May 18), was carried out by United States Customs and Border Protection, along with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and BVI Customs.

A quantity of suspected drugs was recovered, said the local police. “The two male suspects were occupants of the boat intercepted near Ginger Island on which 16 bales of suspected cocaine were recovered. A third male occupant, whose identity is still unknown, was fatality wounded during the operation.”

The RVIPF did not give further information, but noted that its officers are continuing their investigation, in collaboration with United States law enforcement.


In the meantime, the Associated Press has reported the US Customs and Border Protection as saying that its agents were fired upon in BVI waters.

It added that the law enforcers were chasing a boat suspected of being used to transport drugs.

“The agents returned fire, wounding the suspect, then boarded the vessel and provided medical care,” the agency is further reported as saying in a terse statement. “The suspect was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.”