News Release
June 20, 2008
For Information Contact:
Gene Hawk
Resident Agent in Charge
St. Croix Resident Office

No Plant Left Behind in DEA Record
Marijuana Eradication Operation in St. Croix

JUN 20 --ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – Vito Salvatore Guarino, the Acting Special Agent (SAC) in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Caribbean Division today announced the culmination of a recent marijuana eradication operation by the DEA in the island of St. Croix which produced almost 10,000 marijuana plants eradicated, a record in this island, part of the U.S. Territory of the Virgin Islands. Gene Hawk, Resident Agent in Charge (RAC) of the DEA’s St. Croix Office, indicated that 80 fields of marijuana, at a pace of over 1,400 plants a day, from small to 12 ft tall, where seized in this 7 day operation. DEA Operation No Plant Left Behind spanned the entire island of St. Croix, as far east as Estate Cotton Valley, as far west as Estate White Lady, north to Rust Op Twist and along the beach on the south shore.

“If every plant seized in Operation No Plant Left Behind had been allowed to mature, it would have produced enough marijuana for almost ½ of marijuana for each of the 50,000 residents of St. Croix” said DEA Acting SAC Guarino. “DEA will not tolerate illegal marijuana cultivation in St. Croix” stated DEA Acting SAC Guarino. “The easy money from illegal marijuana trafficking can be costly as well. Your freedom is the price you’ll have to pay. Marijuana trafficking is an easy way to get you many years in jail” said DEA St. Croix RAC Hawk as he explained that as several individuals arrested as a result of the DEA marijuana eradication efforts last year where recently convicted, on June 17, in the U.S. District Court for the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Division, and sentenced to 5 years in federal prison.

Operation Leave No Plant Behind lead by the DEA was a collaborative effort of the ATF, FBI, IRS, U.S. Marshals Service, the Office of the Governor of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Blue Lighting Marine Unit, the Virgin Islands Police Department, and the Virgin Islands National Guard, with support from the Puerto Rico National Guard. The DEA St. Croix Resident Office is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program funded initiative.

If you have information about the cultivation of marijuana or drug related information anywhere in the U.S. Virgin Islands, please contact DEA HIDTA St. Croix Resident Office at 340-692-9500 or DEA HIDTA St. Thomas Resident Office at 340-774-2398