83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 20, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesBOND SET FOR RESIDENTS OF WEAPONS-FILLED HOME

BOND SET FOR RESIDENTS OF WEAPONS-FILLED HOME

Jan. 8, 2002 – A Christiansted couple's home that was raided by law enforcement agents last week was filled with parts to assemble hand grenades and other military explosives, federal prosecutors said at a hearing Monday.
Wayne Studdard, 37, and Lia Studdard, 48, were arrested last week and charged with unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful possession of an explosive device, unlawful storage of explosive material and conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. The two, who were detained over the weekend, appeared before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Resnick on Monday for a detention hearing.
When agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the V.I. Police Department raided the Studdards' home on 41 Strand St., they seized 10 handguns and rifles, ammunition, various components of military explosive devices, blasting caps, potassium nitrate (a component of explosives) and an inactive hydroponic laboratory that could be used to grow marijuana. Also found was a jar full of marijuana seeds.
The growing equipment was inside the cistern of the house and had running water and was wired for electricity, DEA agent Joe Tokarz testified.
Most troubing to federal prosecutors, however, were the components found in the home that could be assembled to make a variety of explosives. Tokarz and ATF agent Mike West said they found hand grenade bodies, gunpowder to fill them and triggering devices to make them explode. Also found was a Claymore mine, a weapon used by the military, Tokarz said.
West said neither of the Studdards has federal licenses to own such material. "Civilians should not have access to these [military] components," he said.
Under questioning from Leah Studdard's attorney, Ronald Russell, West conceded that the smokeless gunpowder found in the home can be purchased at sporting goods stores. He also conceded that the hand grenade bodies were not explosives.
Like the explosives, the handguns and rifles seized at the home were unlicensed, authorities said.
Resnick determined that the Studdards, 12-year residents of St. Croix, did not represent a flight risk and ordered the couple released on bond of $50,000 each. The two will have to report to a probation officer and remain on a curfew of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until a trial date is set. Both face a maximum of 36 years in prison on the various charges.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,717FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Jan. 8, 2002 - A Christiansted couple's home that was raided by law enforcement agents last week was filled with parts to assemble hand grenades and other military explosives, federal prosecutors said at a hearing Monday.
Wayne Studdard, 37, and Lia Studdard, 48, were arrested last week and charged with unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful possession of an explosive device, unlawful storage of explosive material and conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. The two, who were detained over the weekend, appeared before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Resnick on Monday for a detention hearing.
When agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the V.I. Police Department raided the Studdards' home on 41 Strand St., they seized 10 handguns and rifles, ammunition, various components of military explosive devices, blasting caps, potassium nitrate (a component of explosives) and an inactive hydroponic laboratory that could be used to grow marijuana. Also found was a jar full of marijuana seeds.
The growing equipment was inside the cistern of the house and had running water and was wired for electricity, DEA agent Joe Tokarz testified.
Most troubing to federal prosecutors, however, were the components found in the home that could be assembled to make a variety of explosives. Tokarz and ATF agent Mike West said they found hand grenade bodies, gunpowder to fill them and triggering devices to make them explode. Also found was a Claymore mine, a weapon used by the military, Tokarz said.
West said neither of the Studdards has federal licenses to own such material. "Civilians should not have access to these [military] components," he said.
Under questioning from Leah Studdard's attorney, Ronald Russell, West conceded that the smokeless gunpowder found in the home can be purchased at sporting goods stores. He also conceded that the hand grenade bodies were not explosives.
Like the explosives, the handguns and rifles seized at the home were unlicensed, authorities said.
Resnick determined that the Studdards, 12-year residents of St. Croix, did not represent a flight risk and ordered the couple released on bond of $50,000 each. The two will have to report to a probation officer and remain on a curfew of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until a trial date is set. Both face a maximum of 36 years in prison on the various charges.