St. Croix Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm Charge

Dale Ritter, 53, of St. Croix, entered a guilty plea Friday in District Count to one federal count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and one local count of illegal use of utility equipment, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Monday.

According to Shappert, the federal offense carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to five years, a maximum fine of $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release for not more than three years. The local offense carries a potential fine of not less than $500 nor more than $3,000, or a prison sentence of up to one year.

Sentencing is set for July 25.

According to court documents, on July 21, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Ritter’s residence in Frederiksted on St. Croix. During the execution of this search warrant, DEA agents located a Taurus Millennium 9 mm handgun with an obliterated serial number. This firearm was determined to be operable and had been shipped in interstate commerce.
Additionally, the agents found unauthorized electric wires running from a pole owned by WAPA that provided electricity to Ritter’s residence and a marijuana grow room.

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The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Task Force Officers with the Virgin Islands Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston.

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