ST. THOMAS — Police have charged two individuals with several offenses after finding a rifle during a traffic stop.
Police were conducting a traffic enforcement operation on Kronprindsen Gade on Tuesday night when they observed a dark Jeep with one working headlight and no front license plate. They immediately stopped the vehicle and observed a female driver and male passenger, neither of them wearing their seat belts. According to the probable cause fact sheet, once the window was down police noticed a strong odor of marijuana and subsequently ordered both individuals to exit the vehicle.
When asked if there was any marijuana in the vehicle, the driver reportedly told police that she had two dime bags in her purse on the back seat. The officers conducted a search of the vehicle and found two transparent resealable bags with a green substance which later tested positive for marijuana. They continued their search and discovered a multi-caliber rifle on the front passenger floor with a full magazine of ammunition with one round in the chamber. According to the fact sheet, the firearm was covered with a white bed sheet.
When the officer alerted his colleagues to the presence of the weapon, the male passenger took off running. Other officers chased after the man later identified as Marvin Stancliffe. Meanwhile, according to police, the driver retrieved the keys from the top of the vehicle where the officer had placed them. She reportedly attempted to get back into the vehicle but the officer positioned a service pistol at the ready and commanded her to step away. She complied and was then placed under arrest.
A further search of the vehicle revealed orange pills in a backpack that was next to the weapon. The pills later proved to be amphetamine, a schedule 2 controlled substance. Police also found a large clear plastic bag that contained smaller bags with a white powdery substance which later tested positive for cocaine. The backpack also contained two loaded Glock 9mm magazines and 6 rounds of rifle ammunition.
Scantliffe was caught by police shortly after his attempt to escape. He and the driver Janelle Walters were both charged with constructive possession of a firearm, constructive possession of ammunition, possession of a machine gun, constructive possession of a firearm within 1000 feet of a school and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and amphetamines. Stancliffe was additionally charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Bail for Walters was set at $60,000 while bail for Stancliffe was set at $150,000. At their advisement hearing on Wednesday, the judge concluded that Walters would be released on the posting of 10 percent of her bail figure. This is her first contact with the justice system. Meanwhile, Stancliffe who has a prior criminal record will be allowed to post 20 percent of his bail amount to secure his release.
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