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Home-Grown Gun Smuggler Tequan Joseph Gets 2.83 Years In Prison For Guilty Plea


SENTENCED: Tequan Joseph

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A 23-year-old St. Thomas man was sentenced in federal court today to nearly three years in prison for admitting to trying to smuggle guns with obliterated serial numbers into the territory.

Tequan Joseph was given 34 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez in St. Thomas today for conspiracy to ship firearms with obliterated serial numbers, unlawful transportation of firearms, and a Middle District of Florida charge of false statements in connection with the purchase of firearms, Sharpe said.

Judge Gomez also ordered Joseph to serve three years of supervised release, to pay a $300 special assessment and to perform 400 hours of community service.

On October 26, 2015, Joseph pleaded guilty to conspiracy to ship firearms with obliterated serial numbers, unlawful transportation of those firearms, and to a Middle District of Florida charge of false statements.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, between August 6, 2013, and October 7, 2013, Joseph conspired with other individuals to unlawfully mail two firearms with obliterated serial numbers from Jacksonville, Florida, to St. Thomas.

A total of six firearms were shipped and recovered during that period. The investigation revealed that Joseph had bought all six guns from a licensed firearms dealer in Jacksonville, Florida. Joseph is not a federally licensed firearms dealer and is not authorized to possess the firearms in the Virgin Islands.

“Trafficking in firearms is the first step in the cycle of violence that’s plaguing our communities,” said Carlos Canino, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in-Charge. “We stand with our law enforcement partners to combat violent gun crime and those who want to destroy our communities.”

This case was investigated by ATF and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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 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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