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D’Mari Jahcoi Heyliger Pleads Guilty To Illegal Gun Possession Charges

dmari heyliger piccer

                    D’mari Jahcoi Heyliger

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A 23-year-old man pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession charges in federal court last week, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

D’mari Jahcoi Heyliger pleaded guilty Monday in District Court on St. Thomas to possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number and possession of an unlicensed firearm, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on December 20, 2013, a federal search warrant was executed on Heyliger’s residence in St. Thomas and two firearms were located in his bedroom. Each firearm had serial numbers removed and Heyliger is not authorized to possess a firearm in the Virgin Islands.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 11, 2016.   Heyliger faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number, and five years in prison and a $15,000 fine for Possession of an Unlicensed Firearm.
In April, a federal grand jury has returned a 12-count indictment charging Tequan Anthony Joseph, 23, Ja’Moi Khadeem Corraspe, 22, D’Mari Jahcoi Heyliger, 23, and Calvia Lake, 20, with federal and territorial firearm offenses, Sharpe said.

Joseph was arrested April 14 in Atlanta, Georgia, and is awaiting transportation to St. Thomas. Corraspe was arrested Tuesday, April 14 in White Plains, New York. Heyliger was arrested April 15 on St. Thomas. Lake was arrested April 14 on St. Thomas.

According to the indictment, the three men and one woman conspired to unlawfully mail firearms from Florida to St. Thomas.

The arrest of the four Virgin Islanders resulted from a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted some of the packages with firearms. Joseph was charged with three firearm conspiracy counts, one count of unlawful shipment of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, and one count of unlawful mailing of a firearm.

Heyliger was charged with two firearm conspiracy counts, two counts of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, and unlawful attempt to receive a firearm. Heyliger was also charged under Virgin Islands law with two counts of possession of a firearm with altered identification marks, and two counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm. Corraspe was charged with three firearm conspiracy counts, and Lake was charged with one firearm conspiracy count.

Conspiracy to unlawfully mail firearms carries a maximum sentence of two years. The other federal offenses carry a maximum sentence of five years. The territorial charge of possession of firearms with altered identification marks carries a mandatory 15-year sentence, and the territorial charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm carries a maximum sentence of five years.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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