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Crime

St. Croix Traffic Stop Leads to Significant Firearm Seizure; Suspect Faces Serious Charges

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In a continuation of their rigorous law enforcement efforts, officers from the Virgin Islands Police Department have recently intensified their campaign against illegal firearms, with numerous arrests following routine traffic stops. This trend persisted into the past Friday when another significant discovery was made during a patrol in St. Croix.

The incident unfolded on Northside Road, adjacent to a local gas station. Officers noticed a gray Honda Civic moving in the opposite direction without a front license plate and lacking a registration sticker on its windshield. Initiating a pursuit, the police unit signaled the Civic, which pulled into Moe’s Service Station.

The driver, identified as Deandre George, informed the officers that the vehicle belonged to his brother and that all related documentation was not with him. Additionally, George was unable to present his driver’s license upon request. During this interaction, officers observed a vial in the car’s center console suspected of containing marijuana. George acknowledged possessing less than one ounce of the substance and consented to a vehicle search.

This search led to the discovery of a backpack on the front seat, partially open, revealing two sandwich bags containing a substance believed to be marijuana. Further inspection of the backpack by an officer led to the unexpected finding of a firearm, identified as a Colt .38 Special six-cylinder revolver, devoid of any serial number or identifying marks. The revolver was loaded with four live rounds, and an additional 9mm round was found within the backpack.

George was taken into custody following his admission of not having a firearm license. He faces charges of unlawful firearm and ammunition possession. He was detained and presented for an advice of rights hearing before Magistrate Yolan Brow-Ross at the start of the week.

Further details from Monday’s court proceedings remain undisclosed to the public. George’s next court appearance is scheduled for December 6.

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Crime

Law Enforcement Swiftly Captures Suspect in Christiansted Robbery Spree

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Following a series of robbery incidents in Christiansted on February 20, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) demonstrated remarkable efficiency by arresting 28-year-old Koi Thomas. The alarming events, reported to the emergency services in close succession at approximately 10:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., prompted a swift and thorough response from the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives.

Eyewitness accounts from the victims were crucial in the investigation, enabling law enforcement to quickly gather surveillance footage pinpointing Thomas as the perpetrator. In a fortunate turn of events, Thomas had been apprehended earlier the same day on unrelated larceny charges in the Gallows Bay area, and was already under detention at the John Bell Correctional Facility.

Detectives visited the correctional facility on February 22, where they officially charged Thomas with two counts of third-degree robbery. Subsequently, Thomas was processed at the Wilbur H. Francis Command Police Station, with his bail determined at $25,000.

Despite Thomas’s court hearing being scheduled for the following Friday, information pertaining to his legal proceedings had yet to be disclosed publicly by Sunday. This arrest underscores the vigilance and dedication of the Virgin Islands law enforcement in maintaining public safety and swiftly addressing criminal activities.

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Crime

Tragic Shooting in St. Thomas Leaves Young Man Dead

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A tragic incident unfolded in the Bovoni Housing Community of St. Thomas late on Thursday night, claiming the life of a young resident. Omar K. Fontaine, a 20-year-old local, fell victim to a lethal shooting, succumbing to multiple gunshot wounds.

The incident was detected by the ShotSpotter Detection System, which notified the V.I. Police Department of the gunfire at precisely 11:11 p.m. Officers from the Mariel C. Newton Command swiftly responded to the alert and discovered Fontaine unresponsive. Despite the prompt arrival of emergency medical technicians, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fontaine’s untimely death has sparked a thorough investigation by the Major Crimes Unit of the VIPD, which is determined to bring those responsible to justice. The police are appealing to the community for assistance, encouraging anyone with information to step forward. Contributions can be made directly to the Major Crimes Unit at 340-642-8449, through a call to 911, or by submitting tips anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8476 or online through their tip form.

This devastating event underscores the urgent need for community cooperation and vigilance in combating violence and safeguarding our neighborhoods.

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Crime

Police Detain Suspect in Shooting Incident Near St. Croix Fire Station

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The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) announced the successful apprehension of 19-year-old Malyki Lockhart on Thursday, in a significant development related to a shooting attempt incident from September 10, 2023.

This operation, a collaborative effort by the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Special Operations Bureau, underscores the department’s commitment to maintaining public safety and bringing those accused of serious crimes to justice.

The arrest stems from an alarming episode that unfolded near the Richmond fire station on St. Croix. A man recounted a harrowing experience of being targeted by gunfire from an approaching vehicle, with the assailant identified as Lockhart, who allegedly opened fire while leaning out of the car.

In the wake of a meticulous investigation, it was concluded that Lockhart had purportedly been at the helm of the vehicle during the attack. This led to the issuance of an arrest warrant for first-degree attempted murder and a search warrant for his residence on February 14. The court set bail at $100,000.

Upon executing the search and arrest warrants, Lockhart was taken into custody. Given the inability to secure bail, he was subsequently detained at the John Bell Correctional Facility. He awaits an Advice of Rights Hearing slated for Friday at the V.I. Superior Court, where he will be formally apprised of the charges levied against him.

This arrest highlights the relentless efforts of law enforcement to protect the community and ensure that justice is served, reflecting the VIPD’s dedication to upholding law and order in the face of criminal activities.

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