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Orlando Man Caught by K-9 Dog With Marijuana in Luggage at Cyril E. King Airport Enters Guilty Plea Ahead of Trial

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ST. THOMAS — United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Monday that Marvin Forbes, age 49, from Orlando, FL, pleaded guilty in federal court just prior to commencement of jury selection for his trial on the charge of possession with intent to distribute 12.61 kilograms of marijuana.

According to court documents, on June 19, 2020, Forbes arrived at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas on Spirit Airlines flight #1610 which departed from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Upon arrival in St. Thomas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducted a 100 percent inspection of Spirit’s checked bags. CBP K-9 “Sherpa” later alerted to the presence of narcotics in Forbes’ checked bag. After Forbes removed his bag from the baggage claim belt, CBP officers approached Forbes and escorted him to secondary for inspection.

In secondary inspection, CBP officers cut a lock that was placed on Forbes’ suitcase after he failed to produce the key to open the lock. Inside Forbes’ suitcase, CBP officers discovered eight vacuum-sealed packages, each containing multiple smaller, individually vacuum sealed packages of marijuana with a total weight of 12.61 kilograms.

On June 22, 2020, Forbes was released on an unsecured bond and allowed to return to Orlando, FL. Two days later, however, Forbes was arrested in Orlando for larceny offenses. His supervised release was later revoked, and he was detained pending trial. After pleading guilty, Forbes was remanded to custody pending his August 6, 2021 sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and CBP. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Delia Smith and is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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