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St. Croix Man Pleads Guilty to Felon in Possession of a Loaded 9mm Handgun

On Monday, Feb. 14, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that a St. Croix man pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.

According to court documents, on Sept. 3, 2020, police officers were patrolling in the John F. Kennedy housing community. When they approached building 29, a group of male individuals were sitting in the archway of the building.

Jahseen Simmonds, 29, ran up the stairs of the building and into an apartment on the second floor. When police knocked on the apartment door, Simmonds left the apartment. Simmonds was asked if he lived in the apartment, and he said “no.”

Police again knocked on the door, at which point a female and male resident came to the door and stated that they did not permit Simmonds to enter the apartment. The police officers were given consent to search the apartment, and they found a 9mm handgun, with one live 9mm round in the chamber and 15 live 9mm rounds in the magazine. There were also 31 live 9mm rounds in the extended magazine. These items were located on the balcony where Simmonds had been. The residents stated that the firearm was not on the balcony before Simmonds ran into the apartment. They also noted that the handgun and ammunition did not belong to them.

Simmonds was previously convicted of possession of a firearm under indictment, a crime punishable for a term exceeding one year, and the firearm was shipped in interstate commerce.

Simmonds pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will
determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Virgin Islands Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is 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. For more information on the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, please see:
https://www.justice.gov/psn.

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