Wanted Sex Offender Captured On St. Croix By V.I. Justice Department After Publicity From Online News Media
CAPTURED: Daniel Eric Cove
CHRISTIANSTED – A second sex offender who was wanted by authorities has been taken into custody.
Daniel Cove, 33, walked into the St. Croix office of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Wednesday morning – a day after the DOJ launched a manhunt for him – and turned himself over to the authorities, according to Leonardo Carrion, Sr., director for the Bureau of Investigation at the DOJ. DOJ learned that Cove had been living on St. Croix for about 40 days.
Cove was subsequently arrested on a single charge of failure to keep sexual offender registration current and his bail was set at $1,000. Unable to secure his release from custody, Cove was remanded to Golden Grove pending his advice-of-rights hearing Thursday on St. Croix.
Commenting on the matter, Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said, “Mr. Cove was registered in the district of St. Thomas/St. John, but ended up in the St. Croix District, and for the last few days, the agents have been actively working to locate him because, unfortunately, in light of what has been happening lately, some members of the community have called us to express concerns that a sex offender is in the Territory whom we allege has evaded monitoring.”
AG Walker said his department has “expended ample resources to locate Cove, including spending many hours analyzing certain data that revealed his location on St. Croix.”
Cove’s apprehension on St. Croix comes just a few days after AG Walker revised an existing policy requiring that all sex offenders in the territory now notify DOJ even when traveling between these islands.
“Ironically, just prior to this incident,” AG Walker said, “I implemented a new travel policy requiring all registered sex offenders to provide notice whenever they travel between the district of St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix. Furthermore, when traveling to BVI, notice must also be provided so that DOJ may inform the Royal Police force there.”
Meanwhile, another sex offender who was arrested Tuesday and charged with failure to keep sexual offender registration current has been allowed to be released from custody on an unsecured bond.
Darion Johnson, 41, appeared Wednesday before V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Henry V. Carr III for an advice-of-rights hearing. Based on the probable cause fact sheet, Judge Carr ruled that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the charge against Johnson and ordered him to be released on an unsecured bond in the amount of $1,000 into the third-party custody of the friend he resides with at Estate Bordeaux.
Johnson is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 20 for his arraignment hearing at which he will formally answer to the charge.
The arrest of both men completes, for now, this initiative with the nickname “Operation Ponderosa,” which was conducted by DOJ’s Bureau of Investigation in the St. Thomas/St. John district for the purpose of verifying the location and other personal information provided by registered sexual offenders in that district. The special agents started their sweeps on the east end of St. Thomas.
Currently, there are 113 registered sex offenders in the Territory – 59 in the St. Thomas/St. John district and 54 on St. Croix – and by law, they are required to provide this information to DOJ and keep it updated at all times.