At 4:20 p.m. Tuesday the V.I. Police Department arrested 20-year-old Rahkeem Swanston of Estate Whim, charging him with unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession or sale of ammunition.
According to the VIPD, the arrested officers were assigned to Phase 2 of the Virgin Islands Crime Initiative. The initiative is a data-driven effort to focus on where crimes are likely to be committed and by whom, and to target resources towards them.
Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Swanston on Melvin Evans Highway near the Good Hope intersection. During the traffic stop, officers discovered a loaded firearm in the vehicle. A check of the VIPD Firearms Bureau’s records verified Swanston did not possess a license to carry a firearm in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which resulted in his arrest.
Bail for Swanston was set at $50,000. Unable to post bail, he was turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending his advice of rights hearing.
St. Croix District Chief of Police Sidney Elskoe expressed concern about this arrest.
“This particular individual was arrested in July for another gun-related incident. If there are people in this community who are determined to possess illegal firearms, even after being arrested for having those firearms, we will find those persons and keep arresting them,” Elskoe said. He praised the officers of the Virgin Islands Crime Initiative for their work in taking illegal guns off the streets, out of the hands of would-be shooters.