2 St. Croix men face possession charges after police found marijuana in containers near them

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ST. CROIX - A magistrate on Tuesday found probable cause to uphold a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute against two men, after police found a green leafy substance in containers in the ground between them as they sat by the roadside.

Kidall Petersen, 28, of Estate Plessen, and Tafari Belardo, 24, of Cotton Valley were advised of their rights Tuesday morning by V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Jessica Gallivan.

According to testimony from V.I. Police Officer Emanuel Morales Jr., officers from the Special Operations Bureau and the Drug Enforcement Administration were in a known drug-transaction area in Campo Rico on Monday afternoon.

Morales said he saw two men sitting next to each other on chairs, about 2 to 3 feet off the side of the roadway, and about 2 to 3 feet apart.

When officers went over to the men, a police dog indicated the presence of a drug in between the chairs.

According to police, in the ground, partially buried under dirt and gravel but still visible, they found about 43 grams of a green leafy substance that later tested to be marijuana. According to Morales, the marijuana was in several small plastic bags and small plastic vials.

Petersen and Belardo were taken into custody.

Gallivan found probable cause for the charges, and ordered each man's bail be set at $10,000, with a 10 percent cash provision. She also set conditions for release.

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