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Traffic Stop Leads to Arrest of Man for Illegal Gun Possession

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The Virgin Islands Police Department provided this image of Rashad Creque following his recent arrest.

In a recent law enforcement operation in St. Thomas, authorities have apprehended a man on serious charges related to firearm possession. The incident unfolded when a routine traffic violation led to a surprising discovery.

Officers from the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) were navigating eastward on Veterans Drive on a tranquil Sunday when their safety was jeopardized by a gold Honda Civic veering unexpectedly into their path. The swift action of the officers led to a stop at Gottlieb’s Service Station, where the driver, Rashad Creque, was found in violation of a traffic signal.

Creque, in his immediate interaction with the officers, expressed regret for his traffic infraction. During a standard safety pat-down, a significant finding was made: Creque was carrying a concealed firearm, specifically a black Glock 19 9mm pistol, without the requisite legal authorization.

Upon discovery, Creque candidly informed the officers of his recent release from incarceration, highlighting his awareness of the prohibition against his association with firearms. This admission, coupled with the finding of the weapon, led to Creque’s arrest. Forensic analysis confirmed the identity and legality of the firearm, further complicating Creque’s legal standing.

Investigations revealed that Creque had been recently liberated from penal custody, following a conviction related to firearm misuse, and was under a stringent 44-month probationary period mandated by Superior Court Judge Sigrid Tejo, which explicitly forbade him from firearm possession.

Charged with unauthorized firearm possession and illegal ammunition possession, Creque was detained pending bail, set initially at $50,000, reflecting the gravity of the charges.

During a subsequent judicial proceeding, Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull validated the charges based on the evidence presented, adjusting the bail conditions to facilitate a 10 percent payment option and imposing stringent reporting and behavioral mandates on Creque, including the relinquishment of his driver’s license and the undertaking of a diligent job search.

As the legal process advances, Creque is mandated to avoid any contact with firearms or similar weapons, reinforcing the judiciary’s stance on firearm regulation and probation compliance. His forthcoming court session is slated for February 23, marking the next phase in this significant legal matter.

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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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