Three employees of the V.I. Department of Public Works, who were among a group of men seen smoking marijuana on government property, were arrested Tuesday on St. Croix and charged with simple possession of a controlled substance.
Officers from the V.I. Police Department’s Special Operations Bureau staked out the area, which was known to be a location where individuals routinely smoked in the early morning hours before starting their jobs as Public Works employees.
Responding to information received at the police department, the officers set up watch on a building within the DPW compound at Estate Anna’s Hope. At about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday officers saw a total of seven men enter the area and begin to smoke marijuana. They were all later taken into custody. Three individuals were found in possession of marijuana and arrested. The others were released.
A sweep of the area by K-9 police dogs revealed additional marijuana hidden nearby.
The three men arrested were Sarwaskwima Flavius, 35, of Estate Stoney Ground; 42-year-old Dean Nurse of Estate Peters Rest; and 51-year-old Cedric Simmonds of LBJ Gardens. Their bail was set at $1,000 each and they were remanded to the custody of the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility pending further court action.
St. Croix Police Chief Christopher Howell thanked the community for their continued support of the Virgin Islands Police Department, as evidenced by their calling in about the situation. Acting Police Commissioner Raymond L. Hyndman echoed the chief’s remarks and added that the department stands by its zero tolerance against marijuana and all other crimes.
“The department will continue to arrest all violators, no matter the level of offense, or where you work, at Public Works or the Police Department. If you are caught you will be arrested,” Hyndman said.
Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls denounced the alleged actions of the three arrested employees.
“I have zero tolerance for drug-related activity in the workplace, and it will not be condoned in the Department of Public Works,” Smalls said.
He said the employees who had a run-in with the law have been placed on administrative leave pending the resolution of the criminal charges against them.