A man accused of importing fentanyl-laced drugs that may have killed a woman on St. Thomas has been ordered jailed without bond while he awaits trial, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Elijah Hakim, 34, was arrested on Sept. 14 and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. He appeared in court for a detention hearing Friday before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller.
If convicted, Hakim is facing a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and a possible maximum sentence of 40 years, according to a motion for detention filed Thursday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Payne.
“Far more troubling, however, is that, as part of the charged conspiracy, the United States alleges that the defendant is the source of supply for a fentanyl overdose, which occurred on April 28,” Payne wrote.
“The evidence suggests that the defendant’s involvement in drug trafficking has already led to a fatal overdose. Even after that incident, the defendant appears to have shipped 200 pills containing fentanyl from Georgia to the U.S. Virgin Islands,” according to the motion.
“Moreover, at the time of his arrest, the defendant was found with indicia of marijuana trafficking, as well as a loaded firearm. Given the seriousness of the charged offense, as well as the as-yet uncharged conduct, the defendant has a strong motivation to flee,” Payne added.
Agents investigating the possible overdose death on April 28 found messages between the victim and an unknown suspect, who was separately in communication with Hakim, according to an affidavit filed by a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.
The messages between Hakim and the suspect were “arranging the unknown user of the suspect phone’s procurement of drugs from Hakim. I believe that the communications between the suspect phone and victim phone were communications arranging a drug transaction between the victim and the unknown user of the suspect phone,” according to the affidavit.
Payne listed Hakim’s criminal history, including a 2010 conviction for felony assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill in Florida, for which he was sentenced to three to five years in prison.
“In addition, in March 2015, the Miami Dade County Sheriff’s Office charged the defendant with trafficking ecstasy. And, in April 2019, CBP officers in St. Thomas intercepted a USPS parcel addressed to Elijah Hakim at 7000 Estate Bovoni,” on St. Thomas, “which contained approximately 208 grams of pills which field tested positive for ecstasy,” Payne wrote. “Most recently, in July 2021 the defendant was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession in North Carolina and sentenced to 20 days confinement followed by 12 months of unsupervised probation.”
Payne said Hakim was also armed at the time of his latest arrest.
“Upon executing the arrest warrant in this case, the defendant directed agents to a nightstand in his bedroom where the defendant, a convicted felon, kept a loaded firearm. Agents also observed evidence of marijuana distribution,” according to the motion. “Thus, while serving a term of probation, the defendant has already re-offended, not only in the charged conduct, but in additional drug trafficking and by being a felon in possession of a firearm.”
Miller issued an order of detention Friday, and Hakim will not be released from custody until the case is resolved.