CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A 30-year-old St. Thomas native was arrested on illegal weapons charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Jashawn Bailey was arrested Friday on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.
Bailey made his initial appearance on the same day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller. He was released pending a preliminary hearing set for Wednesday.
According to the complaint, on December 14, 2016, the Virgin Islands Police discovered a .45 caliber Taurus firearm with an obliterated serial number wrapped in a T-shirt and hat at a crime scene.
Subsequently, Bailey, who was at the scene, admitted that the firearm belonged to him.
If convicted, Bailey faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sharpe said that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.
“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” he said.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.