Local USVI News

Man With Expired Driver’s License and Unregistered Vehicle Caught With Unlicensed Firearm During Traffic Stop

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ST. THOMAS — A man with an expired driver’s license whose vehicle was unregistered was arrested in St. Thomas for unauthorized possession of a firearm following routine traffic enforcement on Saint Peter Mountain Road, the V.I. Police Department has announced.

According to the release, the arrest occurred as a result of a traffic initiative at 3:55 p.m. Friday, which was conducted by the V.I.P.D.’s Special Operations Bureau alongside Department of Planning and Natural Resources officers.

Officers initiated a traffic stop when they observed a blue Honda Accord that failed to yield at a stop sign. Officers then approached the vehicle and immediately detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle, according to the V.I.P.D.

The V.I.P.D. examined the suspect’s driver’s license and saw it was expired. They also examined the vehicle’s insurance and registration and saw that they were expired as well. Further inspection revealed that the license plate affixed to the vehicle belonged to another vehicle, the V.I.P.D. reported.

Officers commanded the suspect, 44-year-old Bernard Kennings Jr. to exit the vehicle. The suspect followed the order and was patted down for officer safety. Kennings was asked whether he had any narcotics or weapons in the vehicle prior to officers’ search, and he admitted that he indeed had narcotics and a firearm in the Honda Accord.

Upon inspection of the vehicle, police found a 9-millimeter handgun (called a ghost gun because of its obliterated serial number) with a 15-round magazine filled to capacity, the V.I.P.D. said. They also found marijuana in the vehicle, according to the release.

Kennings was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending his advisement hearing scheduled for today.

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