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Ex-USVI officials gets 70 months in prison

April 18, 2014

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — A former top environmental enforcement officer for the U.S. Virgin Islands has been sentenced to 70 months in prison for using a government agency as a criminal enterprise.

Roberto Tapia was the director of environmental enforcement for the U.S. islands’ Department of Planning & Natural Resources. He was arrested on drug trafficking charges last year by federal agents who conducted a surveillance operation.

Tapia was caught with seven kilograms (15 pounds) of cocaine after a drug deal with two Puerto Rican men in waters off the islands.

He was sentenced on Thursday, about eight months after pleading guilty.

Ronald Sharpe is the U.S. attorney for the Caribbean territory. He says “it’s a sad day when a high-ranking law enforcement officer has to be sentenced for violating the public’s trust.”

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