Court reschedules Tapia sentencing date again


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ST. THOMAS - The Wednesday sentencing of Roberto Tapia, the former chief of Enforcement for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources who pleaded guilty to running a drug ring, was delayed once again.

Tapia now is scheduled to be sentenced alongside Angelo Hill, a former V.I. Police sergeant, at 9:30 a.m. on April 17.

Tapia, the first to be arrested among the defendants, was caught in Red Hook by federal agents carrying 7.72 kilos of cocaine in a backpack on May 17.

Tapia pleaded guilty to racketeering in September for exploiting his status as a DPNR officer in a criminal enterprise to engage in illegal drug trafficking activities.

Angelo Hill pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy in December.

Some of Tapia and Hill's codefendants - including Edwin Monsanto, Eddie Lopez-Lopez, Angel Negron-Beltran and Stephen Torres - also pleaded guilty to taking part in the drug conspiracy. Their sentencing date currently is set for 9 a.m. June 5.

Three other men - Hector Alcenio, Raymond Brown and Walter Hill - have pleaded not guilty to corresponding drug charges, and their case in District Court still is pending.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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