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Unraveling the Home Invasion in St. John: Suspect Held on $100,000 Bail



ST. JOHN — As new details emerge about a recent home invasion in St. John, the victim’s account paints a chilling picture of that evening. This testimony played a crucial role in the detention of the accused, facing a slew of serious charges.

On the afternoon of August 6, a distress call was logged at the Leander Jurgen Command police precinct. The individual, who was the victim of the home invasion, narrated an alarming series of events from the previous evening. Just a little past 11:00 p.m. on August 5, he was settled in his Power Boyd Plantation home. Unexpectedly, a knock sounded at his door. The scene that unfolded next was nothing short of a nightmare. Three men barged in, waving black firearms menacingly.

Throughout this ordeal, money was their primary demand. However, one among the trio, whom the victim recognized as Javier Francisco Feliciano, had other plans. He quickly began pilfering the home, taking away shoes, colognes, and sunglasses. In a peculiar turn of events, while Feliciano swiped $200 from the victim’s wallet, he left behind $20.

Historical police records reveal a prior run-in with Feliciano. He had been detained earlier in March for drug-related offenses during a routine vehicular check. The V.I. Police Department documented this arrest.

The victim’s association with Feliciano dates back to a point where he played a role in Feliciano’s transit from the British Virgin Islands to the USVI. As the assailants made their exit post the invasion, they snapped pictures of their terrified victim, further tormenting him with threats of dire consequences should he approach the police. Fearful for his life, the victim hastily relocated.

The ordeal wasn’t over, though. In the early hours of August 7, the victim rang the police yet again. He reported a troubling encounter where Feliciano menacingly drove past him, signaling a gun-firing gesture from his black truck.

After the authorities issued and disseminated a wanted notice for Feliciano, he presented himself at the precinct on August 16 at around 9:00 a.m. He attempted to justify his break-in by stating his intention was to retrieve personal belongings from his former residence. However, he held back from furnishing an official testimony, expressing the need for an interpreter. Even with efforts to accommodate this request with Spanish-fluent officers, the situation culminated in Feliciano’s arrest.

The laundry list of charges he faces include first-degree burglary and assault, home invasion, issuing threats to breach peace, conspiracy, unlicensed firearm possession, along with six counts of aiding and abetting.

As proceedings move forward, Feliciano awaits an advisory hearing on his rights, scheduled for August 18. Meanwhile, he remains under custody. In a subsequent hearing, Magistrate Paula Norkaitis found sufficient grounds for all the charges. Feliciano’s bail has been determined at $100,000, with stringent conditions. Should he make bail, several requirements will tether him: weekly check-ins at the probation department, ongoing job hunting documentation, restricted movement within the jurisdiction unless court-approved, and a non-negotiable distance of a minimum 100 feet from the victim.

The legal saga continues, with Feliciano’s next appearance in court marked for September 1.

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St. Croix Woman Charged with Felony Assault After Rejecting Romantic Advances



ST. CROIX — A woman is facing felony assault charges following an incident where she allegedly attacked a friend she met on Facebook after her romantic advances were rejected.

According to court documents, a resident of a Christiansted housing complex called 911 on the afternoon of June 8 to report an assault by a woman named “Gypsy” inside one of the apartments. The assault victim later arrived at the Ancilmo Marshall Command police station to provide her account of the incident.

Police observed the woman’s swollen face, black and blue right eye, and an abrasion on the right side of her head. Despite experiencing pain in her nose, face, and neck, and reporting four lumps on her forehead, she declined medical attention and began recounting the events.

The woman explained that “Gypsy,” identified as Mary Rose Cullens, sent her a Facebook friend request in April. They communicated sporadically until June 5, when Cullens invited her to hang out. On June 7, Cullens picked her up, and they attended an event at a local nightclub before returning to Cullens’ hotel. That night, Cullens made several unwanted sexual advances, all of which were declined.

On June 8, after a trip to the beach, the two women parted ways. The victim returned to her apartment, secured the door, and went to sleep with her minor child. She was awakened by Cullens, who was standing on her bed, punching her in the face while her child screamed. The victim attempted to defend herself but was overpowered. Cullens then removed a portable air conditioner from the window and threw it near the child. She also threw eggs against the wall and floor before leaving, prompted by a neighbor’s call to 911.

Police found the apartment smelling of egg yolk and tried to contact Cullens, but she had already checked out of her hotel. Unable to locate her at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, police issued a temporary warrant for her arrest. Cullens was later spotted at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, attempting to buy a ticket to New Jersey. She was detained by Customs and Border Protection officials and handed over to the police.

Cullens declined to provide a statement to officers and was arrested, charged with first-degree burglary, home invasion, simple assault and battery, and damage to property. She was held in custody until her advice of rights hearing on June 11.

In court, Judge Ernest Morris Jr. found probable cause to uphold all charges against Cullens. Bail was set at $75,000, requiring her to pay $4,000 in cash with the remainder as an unsecured bond for release before trial. Cullens’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 26.

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Man with Extensive Arrest Record Faces New Gun Charges



ST. THOMAS — A man with a lengthy history of arrests is once again in legal trouble, this time for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to court documents, police noticed a man fleeing from a patrol unit on Strand Street towards Curacao Gade early last Thursday morning, around 1:35 a.m. Officers subsequently searched the R2R Lounge, where they encountered Ruben George, who exhibited a strong odor of alcohol.

The officers questioned George about a vehicle registered in his name that was reportedly involved in an assault earlier that night and a hit-and-run collision. George explained that his white Jeep Liberty had been with his mechanic since June 5 for brake repairs, and he had rented a black Toyota Corolla from the mechanic in the interim. He claimed he was at R2R Lounge awaiting the return of his Jeep.

While waiting for detectives from the Criminal Investigation Bureau to arrive, officers noticed the butt of a black firearm between the driver’s seat and center console of the rental car. When asked if he had a firearm license, George admitted he did not and claimed the gun belonged to his cousin, who had asked him to store it. George also revealed he was on probation until later this month.

Despite his claims, officers confiscated the Springfield S&W .380 Shield and arrested George for illegal firearm possession. The loaded magazine found with the weapon led to an additional charge of ammunition possession. George was taken into custody pending his first court appearance.

On June 7, Magistrate Paula Norkaitis upheld the charges, setting bail at $25,000, of which George must post 10 percent to secure his release before trial. Once released, George must adhere to a curfew from midnight to 7:00 a.m., remain within the St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island jurisdiction, report to the probation office twice weekly by phone, refrain from possessing firearms, and maintain his current employment.

George’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 21.

Since 2009, George has been arrested at least six times, excluding the current charges. He has pleaded guilty to crimes such as third-degree assault and the use of a dangerous weapon with intent to use. Other serious charges, including home invasion and robbery, were dismissed, while a 2009 first-degree murder charge resulted in acquittal.

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St. Thomas Vacation Becomes Ordeal as Couple Kidnapped, Woman Raped



A vacation in St. Thomas turned into a harrowing ordeal for a couple from Texas when they were kidnapped and the woman was raped. Richard Albert, now facing multiple felony charges, reportedly forced the couple to comply with his demands over several hours last Wednesday.

Court documents reveal that the couple was on Lindbergh Bay beach around 8 to 9 p.m. when a man, dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, approached them. Albert, allegedly armed, demanded they engage in sexual activity, then stopped them and seized their mobile phone.

The suspect then forced the couple to leave the beach, remove his mask, and drove them to various locations, including a bank where he compelled them to withdraw cash. They were also forced to purchase marijuana and alcohol at a service station.

Albert allegedly brandished his weapon to ensure compliance while insisting he wasn’t forcing them. He then took the couple back to the beach, where he drank and smoked with them. Eventually, he demanded sex from the woman, leaving her boyfriend on the beach without a working phone. Albert took the woman to a secluded area, threatened her with his gun, and raped her before returning her to the beach and demanding she respond to his texts.

The couple provided a detailed description of Albert and his vehicle, leading to his identification. Police apprehended Albert at the Crown Bay Marina parking lot. He admitted to meeting the couple and discussing sexual activity but denied coercing them.

Albert was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, unlawful sexual contact, false imprisonment, kidnapping, extortion, robbery, and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence. Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull granted Albert pre-trial release, with his mother acting as his custodian. His next court appearance is set for June 28.

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