Police say woman attempted to pick up package containing 35 pounds of marijuana

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ST. CROIX - Police have arrested a woman and charged her with being in possession of a large quantity of marijuana.

Jada Graham, 30, made her initial court appearance before District Magistrate Judge George Cannon on Tuesday afternoon and was advised of her rights on the charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, special agent James O'Quinn said he and another officer were conducting a inbound examination of Tropical Shipping cargo when they selected a box randomly for inspection.

He said the box, which was sent from Florida through the shipping company, was listed on the manifest as a "powerful skimming action book" while the box itself pictured and described its content as a 12-foot plastic outdoor swimming pool kit.

O'Quinn said the box was addressed to Shennell Walker of Estate Whim, and when they opened the box, it contained seven large vacuum sealed bags.

He said the bags contained numerous plastic wrapped bundles with a green leafy substance inside.

The agent said when the substance was tested, it was determined that it was more than 35 pounds of marijuana.

O'Quinn wrote in the affidavit that during the afternoon, a man in a small gray truck dropped off a woman - later identified as Graham - who attempted to pick up the package. He said she was directed to the excise office before she could get the package, and she left and returned a half hour later.

Officers said Graham signed her name on the declaration forms as Shennell Walker, and at that time she was detained and a small amount of marijuana was found in her purse.

The driver of the truck also was detained, according to law enforcement officers.

According to the affidavit, agents conducted interviews with Graham and the driver who had dropped her off, and the driver told agents that Graham had asked her for a ride to pick up a package. He said he did not know what was in the package.

However, he gave officers consent to search his cellular phone and when they did, they found a text message that referenced Shennell Walker in his phone.

O'Quinn said Graham told officers, when she was questioned, that the man was the one who had called her and asked her to pick up the package for him and that he showed her a text message with the name Shennell Walker on it and instructed her that Shennell Walker was the name she should use and sign as when she went to pick up the package.

Graham told police that she had not been paid any money to pick up the package but that the man who had brought her to the shipping company had given her $100 that was to be used to pay the shipping cost of sending the box through Tropical Shipping, and she had no idea what it was that was inside the package, according to the affidavit.

Graham appeared before Cannon, who advised her of her rights and set bail at $25,000. He allowed her to be released on an unsecured bond in the amount of $25,000.

At press time Thursday, there was no indication that any criminal charges had been filed against the man.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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