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Four St. Croix Prison Guards Face One Year In Prison For Allegedly Supplying Inmates With Drugs And Phones

FREDERIKSTED – Four prison guards on St. Croix were arrested Thursday after the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges against them alleging that they had supplied criminals in the prison with contraband such as mobile phones and illegal drugs.

Waheeda Ali, 32, Abdul Robinson, 38, Patrick Richards, 41, Eustace Roper, 51, were arrested Thursday pursuant to criminal complaints filed against them on March 1, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

The three men and one woman made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon in U.S. District Court in Golden Rock. All of the men were released on bail pending the filing of formal charges, according to Sharpe.

The complaints resulted from years of investigative work by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who conducted a probe into official corruption within the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections.

The complaints charge all Golden Grove Correctional Facility guards with varying counts of providing contraband in prison, promoting dangerous prison contraband and conflict of interest.

If convicted of providing prison contraband, the defendants face a maximum of one year of incarceration. If convicted of promoting dangerous prison contraband, they face a maximum sentence of five years’ incarceration.

If convicted of conflict of interest, they face a minimum sentence of one year of incarceration and a maximum sentence of five years.

Sharpe said that a complaint is merely an informal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” he said.

Eustace Roper

        ARRESTED: Eustace Roper

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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