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Arrest in St. Thomas: Cocaine Trafficking Suspect Caught with More Drugs and a Firearm

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The Virgin Islands Police Department has released a mugshot of N’Kel Morton.

Authorities on St. Thomas achieved a significant breakthrough in their fight against drug trafficking on Friday afternoon, as they apprehended a suspect already under scrutiny for similar offenses. N’Kel Morton was detained during a strategic operation by the Special Operations Bureau in the bustling area of Red Hook Plaza, found in the driver’s seat of his black Acura sedan.

As the officers neared Morton’s vehicle, they detected a strong scent of marijuana emanating from inside, further noting the car’s close proximity to a local high school, a detail that heightened the severity of the situation.

The encounter led to the discovery of cocaine during a search of Morton, specifically a transparent plastic bag of the substance concealed in his right back pocket. This was only the beginning of what turned out to be a considerable haul.

Upon taking Morton and his vehicle into custody, a thorough examination revealed more incriminating items: a plate adorned with a red flower pattern containing cocaine, additional small pouches with the drug, and various amounts of crack and powdered cocaine distributed across multiple plastic bags. The assortment of narcotics was complemented by capsule pills of unknown substances and a modest quantity of marijuana.

However, the discoveries did not end with drugs. Morton’s Acura was also housing a .358 caliber Glock pistol, complete with a round in the chamber and a 15-round magazine, alongside another fully loaded magazine stored separately. With no evidence to suggest Morton was a licensed firearm carrier, charges against him were immediately amplified to include the possession of illegal narcotics with intent to distribute and illegal firearm and ammunition possession, notably within a school zone.

Following the setting of his initial bail at $25,000, Morton was remanded in custody, pending his advice of rights hearing. His apprehension marks a pivotal moment in a series of drug-related arrests dating back to early March, tying him to other suspects including Peter Francis Jr, Jamil Akeem Bell, and potentially a minor, all of whom face various charges primarily centered around marijuana.

Morton’s journey to this point began with an initial warrant issued on February 26 for cocaine distribution, tracing back to a December incident where he allegedly sold cocaine to an undercover agent in a collaboration between the Virgin Islands Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This incident, too, unfolded in Red Hook Plaza, a known focal point for narcotics transactions on the island.

The consolidation of Morton’s pending legal issues remains uncertain after this latest arrest, which adds to his previous charge of attempted murder from October 2022, when he was accused of engaging in a violent confrontation with police. The community awaits further developments as the case progresses through the judicial system.

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Crime

Former Deputy Park Superintendent of St. Croix Sentenced for Property Conversion and Fraud

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ST. CROIX, VI – Gregory Camacho, 43, previously Deputy Park Superintendent for the National Park Service in St. Croix, received a sentence of nine months of home detention and four years of probation for unlawfully converting property, according to U.S. Attorney for the USVI, Delia L. Smith. The sentencing was handed down by District Judge Wilma A. Lewis on Thursday.

In addition to home detention and probation, Judge Lewis imposed a $6,000 fine and a special assessment of $75 on Camacho. He was also ordered to pay restitution amounting to $29,502.20 to the National Park Service.

According to court filings, Camacho, during his tenure as acting park superintendent from June 2019 to August 2020, occupied two housing units owned by the National Park Service without fulfilling rental payments, causing a loss of $14,192.10. In another instance in July 2019, Camacho deceitfully claimed relocation expenses for his family’s move from Titusville, FL, to St. Croix, even though he moved alone. This action led to unjust reimbursements totaling $13,387.50.

Furthermore, between October 2018 and September 2019, Camacho was found to have submitted overlapping travel vouchers for the same trips from his primary duty station, resulting in an additional $1,922.50 in improper gains.

These findings were brought to light through an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior, with the case prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Huston.

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Crime

Daylight Assault in St. Thomas Leaves Man Injured

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A distressing incident unfolded on St. Thomas when a man suffered injuries in a daylight assault in Simmonds Alley, according to a statement from the V.I. Police Department. The attack occurred on Wednesday around 12:15 p.m.

Authorities were alerted to the situation when the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call about a man found bleeding from the neck near the Jala Jala establishment on Kronprindsens Gade. Responding officers discovered the victim with a severe laceration on the left side of his neck, believed to be the result of the assault.

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, the victim refrained from providing a statement to law enforcement at the scene. He was quickly transported to Schneider Regional Medical Center for medical attention.

The VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau has taken charge of the investigation and is urging the public to assist by providing any relevant information. Individuals can contact the CIB at (340) 774-2211 or call 911. For those preferring to stay anonymous, tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers USVI by calling 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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Six Arrests Made in St. Thomas Drug Trafficking Crackdown

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ST. THOMAS — A targeted joint operation by the Virgin Islands Police Department, alongside the Drug Enforcement Agency and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, resulted in the arrest of six men accused of drug-related crimes in the Red Hook area, a noted hub for illegal narcotics activity.

Throughout February, these coordinated efforts focused on dismantling drug trafficking networks, culminating in several key arrests:

  • N’Kel Morton, 30, was taken into custody at Red Hook Plaza on March 8, 2024, facing charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
  • On March 7, 2024, Jaamal Bell, 42, was arrested at American Yacht Harbor, charged with intent to distribute narcotics.
  • Peter Francis Jr., 33, encountered the same fate at the same location, on identical charges.
  • Anwar Lockhart, 40, was arrested on March 15, 2024, on Cassi Hill for cocaine distribution.
  • Niah Henry, 35, was apprehended on March 16, 2024, at Red Hook Plaza, with charges similar to Morton’s.
  • Kenson Plasimond, 43, was arrested on March 7, 2024, at Tutu Park Mall, also charged with possession with intent to distribute.

These arrests signify a continued commitment by local and federal law enforcement to curb the flow of illegal drugs in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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