ST. THOMAS — A woman traveling with three children was arrested Wednesday and charged with smuggling 167 pounds of marijuana into the territory, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
The woman, Idesha Sterrod, traveled from Miami to King Airport with three children who are not related to her, according to an affidavit filed by a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security.
A trained U.S. Customs and Border Protection dog inspecting incoming checked luggage alerted to narcotics on a suitcase, according to the affidavit.
Opening the suitcase, officers found vacuum-sealed bags that contained what appeared to be marijuana. The officers then returned the suitcase to the luggage belt and allowed it to continue to the baggage claim area, according to the affidavit. Sterrod and the three children collected the suitcase and several others, and waiting CBP officers then escorted them to a secondary inspection area.
“CBP Officers opened all checked bags, and ultimately discovered seven of the suitcases contained a green leafy substance which field tested positive for marijuana,” according to the affidavit.
The officers said the total weight of the marijuana was 76 kilograms, or just over 167 pounds.
Two of the suitcases were tagged with Sterrod’s name, and the other five bags were tagged under the children’s names, according to the affidavit.
Records showed that Sterrod and the three children left St. Thomas on July 27 and traveled to San Francisco with a layover in Miami.
Sterrod said during an interview with federal investigators that she and the children stayed in a hotel in San Francisco, and an individual there gave her and the children the seven checked bags to bring back to St. Thomas, according to the affidavit.
Sterrod was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
A detention hearing is set for today before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller to determine whether Sterrod will be released from jail pending trial.
Documents in the case do not indicate the status of the children, or if any judicial actions are being taken in their regards.