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St. Croix’s Dale Ritter Gets One Year In Prison For Illegal Gun, Stealing Electricity Convictions

CHRISTIANSTED – A St. Croix man was given one year in prison by a federal judge on Thursday for illegal gun and stealing electricity convictions.

Dale Ritter, 53, of Mars Hill, was sentenced in U.S. District Count on one federal count of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number, and one local count of illegal use of utility equipment, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wilma Lewis sentenced Ritter to a prison sentence of twelve months and one day, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and imposed a $100 special assessment on the possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number count.

Additionally, Ritter was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine on the illegal use of utility equipment count.

Ritter previously pled guilty to the charges on March 23, 2018.

According to court documents, on July 21, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) executed a search warrant at Ritter’s residence in Frederiksted, St. Croix.

During the execution of this search warrant, DEA agents located a Taurus Millennium 9mm handgun with an
obliterated serial number.

This firearm was determined to be operable and had been shipped in interstate commerce.

Additionally, agents located unauthorized electric wires running from a pole owned by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) that provided electricity to Ritter’s residence and a marijuana grow room.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Task Force Officers with the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Huston.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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