St. Croix Man Shot Dead At Harvey Project Today: VIPD

KINGSHILL — A St. Croix man was shot and killed today in a shootout at Bethlehem Village-Harvey Project.

Jorge Luis Saldana, 24, of Aureo Diaz Heights was positively identified by next of kin as the deceased, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

The 911 Emergency Call Center dispatched officers to Bethlehem Village at 9:40 a.m. according to the VIPD.

Saldana, who was shot multiple times about the body, succumbed to his injuries at the Juan F. Luis Hospital this afternoon, police said.

St. Croix Man Shot Dead At Harvey Project Today: VIPD
REST IN PEACE: Jorge Luis Saldana on St. Croix

Many people expressed their condolences to the family of Saldana this afternoon.

“Very sad another family to suffer condolences to his family n friends,” Marsha Lewis said on Facebook.

“R.I.P That man is not from Aureo Diaz ,,he from old bug I know he that’ fisherman,” Jahrule Gmash Dan said.

“My sister and I saw him just yesterday. RIP Jorge. Condolences to the family…” Daina Charmain Frederick said.

“He ain’t from Aureo Diaz!! I know he ,,R.I.P.” Jahrule Gmash Dan added.

“When does it end if they would only understand the pain n suffering they cause to so many families of both the victim and the criminal cause really everyone suffers but none suffer more than those who have had a family member murdered for every time,” Marsha Lewis added “They hear of someone being shot or killed it takes them right back to that horrible day it was their own,”

“The VIPD continues to express gratitude to the community’s partnership working together in trying to keep our communities safe.”

St. Croix Man Shot Dead At Harvey Project Today: VIPD

This incident remains under investigation by the CIB Detectives.

If you have any information relating to shooting: please call the CIB TIP-Line at 340- 778-4850 , Crime Stopper VI 1-800-222-TIPS or 911.

NHC Monitoring 2 Waves, 1 In Caribbean 1 Coming Off Africa

MIAMI — A disturbance nearing the Caribbean Sea today could see some more development in the next few days. Forecasters are also eyeing a tropical wave expected to move off the coast of Africa soon.

The National Hurricane Center said both systems have a zero percent chance of formation in the next 48 hours and a low 20 percent chance of formation through the next five days. The disturbance near the Caribbean Sea was producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms several hundred miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands, as of the hurricane center’s 2 p.m. advisory.

Conditions could “become more conducive for slow development” after the system crosses the Windward Islands and moves across the Caribbean Sea later later this week and into early next week, the hurricane center said. The other disturbance might see some “slow development” later this week or over the weekend as it quickly moves west, away from Africa and into the Atlantic.

Shower and thunderstorm activity remains disorganized associated with the tropical wave located a few hundred miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands.

NHC Monitoring 2 Waves, 1 In Caribbean 1 Coming Off Africa

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather-news/article264828604.html#storylink=cpy

Brave Employees Unmask 1 Armed Robber At Wharfside Village St. John

CRUZ BAY — Brave employees fought back against two armed robbers in St. John early Monday and were able to unmask and positively identify one of the suspects, authorities said.

Lee Christian, 21, of St. John, was arrested at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday and charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, first-degree assault and third-degree assault, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Brave Employees Unmask 1 Armed Robber At Wharfside Village St. John
VIPD mugshot of Lee Christian

The 911 Emergency Call Center, dispatched Officers from Leander Jurgen Command to an armed robbery that occurred near Wharfside Village in Cruz Bay about 1:07 a.m. Monday, according to the VIPD.

Patrol officers arrived on the crime scene and spoke with the employees of the establishment to find out what happened.

The employees stated that while in the process of closing two unknown Black males entered the establishment wearing masks, one of them armed with a handgun which he pointed at them demanding “everything they had,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.  

“The employees also stated that while doing so, an altercation ensued between the suspects and themselves, which caused one of the suspects to flee the area,” Dratte said. “The employees further stated that during the altercation they were able to remove one of the suspects’ masks from his face at which time the suspect was positively identified as Lee Christian of St. John.”

The suspect continued to struggle with the employees and was able to flee the area prior to the police arrival, the police spokesman added.   

Lee turned himself in at Zone C Sub-Station in Annas Retreat in St. Thomas on Tuesday night, police said.

Christian was booked, processed and remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing. 

“We are still investigating this Armed Robbery and there’s still a second suspect at-large,” St. Thomas District Chief Detective, Lt. Shelly-Ann Cannonier said.  

The second suspect description is a Black male, of medium height who was wearing a mask and dressed in all black, Lt. Cannonier said.

CIB detectives are currently combing over digital surveillance content as the investigation into this armed robbery is ongoing. 

CIB is asking anyone with information about this incident to call 911, CIB at 340-774-2211, Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477

Coast Guard Rescues 6 Fishermen From Boat Near Cabo Rojo

SAN JUAN — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez rescued six men from a fishing vessel that was taking on water Sunday, about 18 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The men, who were all wearing lifejackets, had gone out on a recreational fishing voyage when the 27-foot fishing vessel Makaira Seeker started taking on water and the vessel bilge pumps stopped working. 

Coast Guard Rescues 6 Fishermen From Boat Near Cabo Rojo
Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez crewmembers aboard the cutter’s Over the Horizon Boat with four fisherman who were embarked from the 27-foot fishing vessel Makaira Seeker that was taking on water, approximately 18 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico August 21, 2022. The Coast Guard crew assisted the vessel Makaira Seeker with dewatering efforts and escorted the anglers and the vessel to the Puerto Real Marina in Cabo Rojo. (Photo by U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a VHF-Channel 16 communication at 1:28 p.m. Sunday from the vessel Makaira Seeker reporting the distress and that the fishermen were attempting to dewater the vessel by hand.  The survivors also reported the vessel’s GPS was down and estimated their position to be approximately five nautical miles from buoy six.  Watchstanders immediately diverted the cutter Heriberto Hernandez to find the distressed vessel and transmitted an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to alert nearby vessel traffic to be on the lookout.

Within thirty minutes, cutter Heriberto Hernandez arrived on-scene and used the cutter small boat to deploy two crewmembers aboard the Makaira Seeker along with two P6 dewatering pumps.  The small boat crew also embarked four of the fishermen, while two others remained aboard the vessel to continue dewatering efforts.

Coast Guard Rescues 6 Fishermen From Boat Near Cabo Rojo
The 27-foot fishing vessel Makaira Seeker safely docked at the Puerto Real Marina in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico August 22, 2022, a day after the vessel was in distress taking on water with six people onboard, approximately 18 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez assisted the Makaira Seeker with dewatering efforts and escorted the angles and their vessel to safety. (Photo by Coast Guard).

“Fortunately, we were able to render assistance within 30 minutes of the vessel taking on water, if it had been longer the fishing vessel would have likely sank,” said Lt. Robert Renfrow, cutter Heriberto Hernandez commanding officer. “We immediately launched our cutter boat and two of our members hopped on and began dewatering the vessel with a P6 pump. I am extremely proud of the crew’s quick actions and professionalism, cases like this are very fulfilling and make serving in the Coast Guard rewarding.”

Once the vessel was stable, the cutter small boat crew escorted the Makaira Seeker to the Puerto Real marina in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

Cutter Heriberto Hernandez is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Second Man Arrested For Aiding In Theft of Items From Self-Storage In St. Thomas

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man who helped another suspect in removing property from self-storage and then re-selling it has been re-arrested on related charged, authorities said.

Bradley Maxwell, 44, of St. Thomas, was arrested Monday and charged with conspiracy to commit larceny, compounding crime and aiding and abetting, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Second Man Arrested For Aiding In Theft of Items From Self-Storage In St. Thomas
VIPD mugshot of Bradley Maxwell, 44, of St. Thomas

On November 24, 2020, the Economic Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into a reported Grand Larceny, according to the VIPD.

“The investigation revealed that Bradley Maxwell assisted in the unlawful possession of resold property belonging to Storage on Site, LLC,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

On August 22, 2022, Maxwell was arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Larceny, Compounding Crime and Aiding, and Abetting pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, according to Dratte.

Bail for Maxwell was set at $35,000 by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending his Advice of Rights Hearing scheduled for today at the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.

Donoe Truck Driver Who Stole Items From Self-Storage For Re-sale Re-Arrested

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A Donoe truck driver who was arrested last year after allegedly stealing items from a self-storage business and re-selling them has been re-arrested on related charges, authorities said.

Chandler “Frenchy” Heath, 31, of Grandview Apartments was arrested Tuesday on conspiracy to commit grand larceny, grand larceny, obtaining money by false pretense and other related charges, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Donoe Truck Driver Who Stole Items From Self-Storage For Re-sale Re-Arrested
VIPD mugshot of Chandler “Frenchy” Heath, 31, of Grandview Apartments on St. Thomas.

On November 24, 2020, the Economic Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into a reported Grand Larceny. The investigation revealed that Heath unlawfully took possession of and re-sold property belonging to Storage on Site, LLC, according to the VIPD.

On March 1, 2021, Heath was arrested and was charged with Grand Larceny, Obtaining Money by False Pretense and Embezzlement by a fiduciary pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, police said.

On August 23, 2022, Heath was re-arrested on additional charges of Conspiracy to Commit Larceny, Grand Larceny, Obtaining Money by False Pretense, Embezzlement by a fiduciary and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands 

Bail was for Heath was set at $35,000 for the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing scheduled for today at the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. 

Help Police Find Balding Suspect Wanted For Assault On St. Thomas

CHARLOTTE AMALIE —  Police need your help today to find a St. Thomas man wanted for assault.

Louie P. Vaccaro, 51, of New York is wanted for questioning about a third-degree assault incident, the Virgin Islands Police Department said. 

Vaccaro is a white male who is partially bald with an extremely low haircut. He stands 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighs about 170 pounds.

He is known to reside in Estate Nazareth on St. Thomas, according to the VIPD.

If you know the whereabouts of Louie P. Vaccaro, you are asked to please call 911, or contact CIB Detective Y. LoBlack at 340 774-2211 or Crime Stoppers VI at 1-800-222-8477

Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 12-Year-Old Girl In His Household

FREDERIKSTED  —  A family member walked into police headquarters this weekend and told police that a St. Croix man sexually assaulted a pre-teenage girl in their household.

Isaac Belardo, 20, was arrested Saturday and charged first-degree aggravated rape-domestic violence and first-degree unlawful sexual contact, the Virgin Islands Police Department.

A citizen walked into the Wilbur H. Francis Command Police Station on Saturday and reported that a minor was sexually assaulted, according to the VIPD. 

Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 12-Year-Old Girl In His Household
VIPD mugshot of Isaac Belardo, 20, of St. Croix.

Members of the Criminal Investigation Bureau were notified, and an investigation was conducted.

Witnesses were obtained and the investigation disclosed Belardo had sexually assaulted a 12-year-old female, VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

“Detectives of the Criminal Investigation Bureau contacted Mr. Belardo who was advised of his Miranda Rights, and he admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim,” according to Dratte.

No bail was set for Belardo as per the territory’s domestic violence laws. He was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections at the John A. Bell Correctional Facility.

Belardo has an advice-of-rights hearing set for tomorrow at the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. 

2 Dead, 16 Rescued After Human Trafficking Event Goes Awry at Haulover Bay

CRUZ BAY —  Two immigrants drowned after a vessel dropped off eighteen nationals of multiple countries at Haulover Bay in St. John during the early hours Sunday morning, the Virgin Islands Police Department said. A female adult originally listed as missing was confirmed dead after her body was found on Sunday afternoon. 

Police Commissioner Ray Martinez said that the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call from a St. John resident at about 4:15 a.m. Sunday, reporting that immigrants were coming ashore on St. John. Officers responded to the scene and started making contact with the immigrants in the water and on land at about 5:00 a.m.

2 Dead, 16 Rescued After Human Trafficking Event Goes Awry at Haulover Bay
Photo courtesy of the VIPD

Martinez, who said that the investigation is ongoing, said 18 people were aboard the vessel, which came from Saint Martin. It included two Iranian nationals, a Guyanese national and 15 Venezuelans — there were 17 adults and one child.

“Right now we know that one male individual has drowned and that body has been recovered,” the commissioner said, adding that law enforcement officials were not certain whether the deceased was a passenger or a crew member of the vessel.

The vessel is said to have dropped the individuals at their destination before leaving, with the immigrants disembarking at a certain distance and swimming their way to shore, according to Martinez.

The immigrants, who were attempting illegal entry into the U.S., were being transported to St. Thomas by law enforcement Sunday afternoon to be turned over to Customs and Border Protection for processing, the commissioner said.

The Virgin Islands Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services, Romeo Company (Coral Bay Fire Station) was dispatched by 911 at 7 a.m. Sunday to the Finger Pier for an unresponsive male patient in St. John.

Dual role firefighter/EMT and Rescue personnel arrived at the dock in Coral Bay and received the patient via St. John Rescue vessel, according to the Office of the Governor.

VIFEMS initiated CPR upon transfer until EMS personnel confirmed the patient as having no vital signs.

This incident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard, Virgin Islands National Park Service and the Virgin Islands Police Department.

Woman Who Stole 3 Checks And Cashed 2 of Them Arrested

CRUZ BAY —  A St. John woman who allegedly stole three checks and cashed two of them for $2,000 was charged with multiple crimes, authorities said.

Daliqua Moses, 24, was arrested and charged with grand larceny, obtaining money by false pretenses and forgery, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

On Wednesday, August 15, 2022, the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) initiated an investigation into a reported Grand Larceny. The complainant reported that three checks were stolen from his check book which was located at his place of employment. Investigation revealed that Moses stole the checks; endorsed, forged, and cashed two checks totaling two thousand dollars., according to the VIPD.

 

Woman Who Stole 3 Checks And Cashed 2 of Them Arrested
VIPD mugshot of Daliqua Moses

On Friday, August 19, 2022, at 1:25 p.m., the Merchants Commercial Bank notified the police when it was identified that Moses was present and attempting to cash a third check in the amount of three thousand dollars, VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

Moses was apprehended at the bank by patrol officers and turned over to the ECU Detectives, according to Dratte.  Moses was then placed under arrest, processed, and charged with Grand Larceny, Obtaining Money by False Pretense and Forgery.  

Bail for Moses was set at $20,000.; Unable to post bail she was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.