ST. THOMAS — A man was arrested Tuesday at King Airport after federal investigators say he was caught smuggling 18 pounds of marijuana in his luggage, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

The man, Christopher Vera, was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, according to the affidavit filed by a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Vera’s arrest came after Customs and Border Protection officers found 18 pounds of marijuana in his luggage after he arrived on an inbound American Airlines flight from Miami, according to the affidavit.

Vera agreed to an interview with investigators, and said he brought the marijuana in his checked luggage “at the request of an unknown male whom Vera met at a McDonalds,” according to the affidavit, and that he was going to be paid $1,500 cash to transport the drugs.

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