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Career Petty Thief Gets An Extra 18 Months In Prison For Having A Shank

Andelson Nova Santiago
Andelson Santiago Nova

CHRISTIANSTED – A 24-year-old St. Croix man was given an additional 18 months behind bars by a federal judge for having a makeshift knife in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Andelson Santiago Nova of St. Croix was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Wilma Lewis on November 10 to three years of supervised release and a $500 fine for possession of prison contraband, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

On May 27, 2015, Santiago pleaded guilty to one count of possession of prison contraband. As part of the plea deal, Santiago admitted that he was carrying a knife on December 25, 2013 while he was an inmate at the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility on St. Croix.

“It is important for the community to have confidence that prison inmates do not have access to weapons or the ability to engage in criminal activity from behind bars,” Sharpe said.

Federal agents conducted a massive raid on the Golden Grove prison in April 2014. During the overnight raid, agents found weapons, drugs, mobile phone and even a Sony PlayStation.

In all, some 29 Golden Grove inmates were allegedly found to be in possession of contraband, authorities said.

The dangers of prison contraband are well-documented. Two years ago, an inmate in North Carolina was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father from a mobile phone in prison.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rami Badawy.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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 40 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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