The Virgin Islands Police Department officers made several arrests and confiscations involving firearms around the territory over the weekend.
On Jan. 29, at about 4:30 a.m., officers on St. Thomas arrested La-Shorn Samuel, age 33, of Estate Wintberg, charging him with possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition. Samuel was observed by officers with a loaded handgun and several extended magazines after responding to shots fired in the vicinity of Crystal Gade. Bail for Samuel was set at $60,000, which he could not post, and therefore he was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
On Jan. 29, at 10:18 p.m., officers on St. Croix arrested 28-year-old Jimmar Payne of Estate White Lady, charging him with carrying of a firearm openly or concealed. Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Payne on the Melvin H. Evans Highway, in the vicinity of the Ricardo Richards Elementary School. Officers learned that a firearm was in the vehicle during the traffic stop, and Payne did not have a valid license for the firearm. He was unable to post $50,000 bail, and he was therefore remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
On Jan. 29, at 11:28 p.m., police on St. Croix arrested Okechi Brin, age 28, of Orange Grove, charging him with carrying of a firearm openly or concealed. Brin committed a traffic infraction which prompted the officers to conduct a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, officers discovered a firearm in the vehicle. Bail was set at $50,000, which he could not post and was therefore remanded to the Bureau of Corrections, pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
Police Commissioner Designee Ray Martinez commended his officers for the arrests and reminded residents of his promise to crack down on minor infractions.
“Paying attention to little details can produce big results,” Commissioner Martinez said. He continued, “This is only the beginning. We will continue to enforce traffic infractions; that enforcement can and will help us take illegal guns off the street and reduce the criminal element in the territory.”
Commissioner Martinez encourages everyone with information on crimes to contact police by calling 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau on St. Thomas at (340) 774-2211, the Crime TipLine on St. Croix at (340) 778-4950, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-8477 or online at p3tips.com.