Lionel Woodley, 35, appeared before Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon Jr. on Wednesday in U.S. District Court on St. Croix and entered a guilty plea to the charge of being a felon in possession of firearm, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
According to court documents, at about 11:30 p.m. March 17, 2019, officers of the V.I. Police Department officers stopped the vehicle driven by Woodley for failing to observe a stop sign and passing on a double yellow line. During the traffic stop, VIPD officers noticed the odor of marijuana emanating from Woodley’s vehicle. The officers searched the vehicle and located a revolver in the center console, a bag on the front seat containing approximately 20 grams of marijuana, approximately 7 grams of cocaine, along with $105 in cash and a scale. Police also found and seized $701 on Woodley’s person.
Woodley did not have a license to possess the firearm, court records show, and had previously been convicted of the felony offense of attempted robbery second degree by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.
The firearm charge carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to 10 years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release of at least 2 years. Sentencing is set for Oct. 1.
The Virgin Islands Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston prosecuted.
Shappert said the case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. More information on Project Safe Neighborhoods is online at the U.S. Department of Justice website.