District Court Judge Wilma a Lewis on Thursday sentenced 27-year-old Sergio Rijo-Feliz of St. Croix to 36 months of incarceration for possession of a firearm while under indictment, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
Lewis also ordered Rijo-Feliz to pay a $1,000 fine, serve supervised release for three years and pay a special assessment of $100.
According to a plea agreement and documents filed with the court, on Oct. 2, 2018, Rijo-Feliz’ mother entered the Marshal Command Police Station, Christiansted, St. Croix, and reported that she found a firearm in his backpack, which she had with her in her car. She had just dropped Rijo-Feliz off at the Superior Court in Kingshill to sign in with the Probation Office. After discovering the firearm, she drove away while Rijo-Feliz was still at the courthouse.
A subsequent search of the backpack revealed a 9mm Sturm Ruger handgun with one live round in the chamber and 20 live rounds in the attached magazine. An extended magazine with 30 9mm live cartridges was also found inside the backpack along with a black ski mask, black wallet with a driver’s license and other ID’s belonging to Rijo-Feliz, police said. Subsequent to his arrest, Rijo-Feliz admitted ownership and possession of the firearm.
At the time of the search, Rijo-Feliz was facing charges of third-degree assault and possession of a firearm during a violent crime in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. He had no license to possess a firearm in the Virgin Islands.
The case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews Jr.