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Winston Venner Pleads Guilty To Illegal Machine Pistol Possession In Federal Court

Winston Venner crop

      GUILTY PLEA: Winston Venner

CHRISTIANSTED – A 34-year-old St. Croix man pleaded guilty on Thursday in federal court to being a felon with a gun, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Winston Curtis Venner admitted to being a felon in possession of a firearm in U.S. District Court in Estate Golden Rock, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officers stopped Venner’s vehicle on Rattan Road on July 12, 2015.

Venner was the sole occupant of the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, next to Venner on the floor of the front passenger seat, police found a bag containing a Cobray model M 12, .380 caliber handgun and a magazine containing 17 bullets.

Venner was previously convicted of third-degree assault third in 2005 in the V.I. Superior Court.

Venner faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

A sentencing date has been set for December 7, 2016.

The case was investigated by the VIPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews, Jr.

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M 12 machine .380 caliber pistol, magazine

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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