A Hidden Valley man was sentenced Tuesday to a year behind bars for having pleaded guilty to a gun crime that occurred last August, according to the V.I. Department of Justice.
Kareem Harrigan, 29, pleaded guilty to the single charge of failure to register. He had originally been charged with one count each of unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and failure to register.
“I’d like to say sorry,” Harrigan told the court before V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois handed down her punishment – one year incarceration with all but three months suspended with credit for time already served.
Harrigan was immediately remanded into custody to begin serving his sentence.
Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said the Department of Justice and the people of the Virgin Islands take gun violation and gun possession very seriously.
“We will continue to aggressively prosecute these gun cases to combat the problems caused by illegal firearms,” Walker said.
An affidavit filed by Det. Alex Dorsett detailed the incident that led to Harrigan’s arrest Aug. 31. Police responded to a report of a suspicious backpack found in the lower cabinet of an apartment at Tutu Highrise. When officers arrived at the house, a woman told them that she discovered a small black backpack inside one of her kitchen cabinets. She stated that the backpack does not belong to her or anyone who resides inside her apartment.
The woman told police that a few days earlier, Harrigan asked her if he could leave his backpack at her residence, but she refused. She said she believes Harrigan hid his backpack inside her kitchen cabinet when she went into her bedroom. An inspection of the backpack revealed a loaded handgun and a blue cookie pan containing 38 plastic bags of marijuana, Dorsett wrote.
On Sept. 2 Harrigan turned himself in to police and admitted that the backpack and its contents belonged to him, according to Dorsett.