ST. THOMAS — Federal agents converged on a one-way street in Hull Bay on Monday night and arrested two men who were transporting 462 pounds of cocaine, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Russell Robinson and Trevor Stephen were both taken into custody and charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

The case began Monday night at around 10:15 p.m., when U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations unit was notified that one of its aircraft had noticed a “lights out vessel between St. John and St. Thomas,” according to an affidavit filed by a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Vessels are required to use running lights while traveling at night, and not doing so can be an indicator of smuggling activity.

CBP launched a boat while the aircraft followed the vessel to Vessup Bay in Red Hook, where “the individuals transferred several bags to people in a Toyota Tundra truck,” according to the affidavit. “The aircraft maintained a visual on the Tundra that had received the bags as it left the area and provided updates as the truck traveled towards downtown Charlotte Amalie.”

CBP asked for assistance from other federal law enforcement agencies, and the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI “immediately mobilized to assist in locating the Tundra,” according to the affidavit.

Using updates from the aircraft — the affidavit does not specify what type of aircraft or whether it was a drone — DEA agents located the Tundra and followed it to the waterfront, where they attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

“The Tundra, however, immediately fled from agents and began traveling towards the Hull Bay area of St. Thomas,” according to the affidavit.

The Tundra “traveled up a one-way road into a small residential neighborhood. Agents were able to establish a perimeter at the base of the one-way road. Meanwhile, the aircraft reported that once the Tundra reached the end of the road in the neighborhood, one of the occupants appeared to have off-loaded and ditched bags from the truck,” according to the affidavit.

The truck “traveled back down the one-way road, towards agents. Once the Tundra reached the perimeter, agents conducted a felony stop and took both occupants of the Tundra into custody.”

With the assistance of the aircraft, agents searched the road on foot and “were able to locate seven black duffle bags that the aircraft had observed being removed from the truck. The black duffle bags were found to contain approximately 210 kilograms of substance that field tested positive for cocaine,” according to the affidavit.

The driver of the truck was identified as Robinson, “a known St. Thomas cocaine trafficker, who has been previously convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, and sentenced to 160 months,” according to the affidavit. “The passenger, who was completely drenched in sweat, was identified as Trevor Stephen.”

Robinson was part of an extensive distribution network led by Craig Hendricks, who was convicted in 2005 of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and money laundering and sentenced to 40 years.

Robinson was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy, which brought hundreds of pounds of cocaine into the territory, according to court records.

Both Robinson and Stephen were taken to the Bureau of Corrections and are scheduled to appear in court Friday.

— Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email