A 43-year-old, would-be meth dealer told officers searching for him he had been marooned on an outlying cay, only to then be caught taking a walk through Christiansted, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Jason Current, who is from St. Croix, was charged with attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and a related conspiracy charge. He appeared in court Monday and Magistrate Judge George Cannon scheduled a detention hearing for Nov. 19 after prosecutors asked that he be held without bond pending trial.
On Nov. 5, Customs and Border Protection officers in San Juan intercepted a package from California addressed to Current on St. Croix and found 120 grams of methamphetamine and 341 grams of marijuana hidden inside children’s puzzle boxes, according to a 16-page affidavit filed by a Homeland Security Investigations special agent. Federal agents replaced the drugs with fake narcotics, returned the package to the postal service with a tracking device, and recorded Current picking up the package in Sunny Isle on Nov. 10.
Current discovered the tracking device and discarded it while driving, and managed to evade law enforcement officers who had been tailing him from the post office, according to the affidavit. Officers located the vehicle the following day and detained the driver, the mother of Current’s children, and seized drugs and evidence from inside the car.
The woman — who has not been charged, according to publicly available court records — told officers she and Current fled Hawaii because he was about to be incarcerated in that state.
When officers made contact with Current and ordered him to surrender, he told them he had boarded a vessel bound for the British Virgin Islands, and indicated that he had been abandoned on an outlying cay.
With the assistance of AT&T, however, officers traced Current’s cell phone to Recovery Hill, an 830-foot hill south of Christiansted topped by a radio beacon, and on Friday launched a “comprehensive land-based search of this difficult terrain” with all available federal and local law enforcement officers, according to the affidavit.
Officers searching the area showed a photo of Current to area residents, who reported seeing a man who seemed to be living out of a Jeep in the area. A family member of a Recovery Hill resident then spotted Current walking on Queen Cross Street in downtown Christiansted at around 3 p.m. Friday, and officers took him into custody.
Officers found that Current has “an extensive criminal history” and another active warrant “for dangerous drugs out of the state of Virginia,” according to the affidavit. The state of Hawaii also issued a full extradition warrant on Nov. 5 “stemming from an aggravated robbery charge and subsequent pre-trial/pre-sentencing release violations.”