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Swift Response by VIPD Leads to Safe Return of Kidnapped Men in St. Croix

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VIPD initiates investigative measures following abduction near Royal Furniture, Peter’s Rest, St. Croix – By V.I. CONSORTIUM

In a remarkable display of resilience and prompt action, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) has successfully ensured the safety of two men following their abduction by a group of four masked assailants on the evening of March 5 in St. Croix.

Commencing a full-scale investigation into the distressing event, the VIPD is now appealing to the community for assistance in locating and apprehending the individuals responsible for this brazen act.

The abduction took place at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Queen Mary Highway, in close proximity to Royal Furniture in the Peter’s Rest area. Eyewitnesses recounted a harrowing scene in which a white or silver Toyota Tacoma quad cab abruptly intercepted a BMW SUV. Subsequently, three masked figures emerged from the Tacoma, forcefully abducted the BMW’s two occupants, and then fled the scene with the victims in tow.

In response to the 911 Emergency Call Center’s alert, VIPD officers promptly scoured the vicinity, ultimately locating the victims unharmed. The individuals recounted their ordeal, revealing they were eventually freed by their abductors in the Half Penny area. Despite being unable to provide detailed descriptions of their captors, they suggested the involvement of up to four perpetrators in their abduction.

The VIPD is actively seeking information that could lead to the identification and arrest of those involved in this criminal act. The department encourages anyone with information to step forward and contact the VIPD directly at 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Tip Line at (340) 778-4950, or to anonymously reach out to Crime Stoppers V.I. at 1(800)222-8477 (TIPS), or through their online platform. The community’s cooperation is crucial in ensuring such acts of violence are met with justice and that the safety and security of our islands are maintained.

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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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Crime

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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