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Prosecutor: St. Croix’s Ajani Plante Pleads Guilty In Perfection Gift Store Robbery

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CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man pleaded guilty in federal court today after admitting to his role in an armed robbery of a local jewelry store.

Ajani Plante, 26, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Golden Rock to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, Acting U.S. Attorney Joycelyn Hewlett said.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on June 17, 2013, Plante, while aided and abetted by others, entered Perfection Gift Shop to rob the store, Hewlett said.

Plante and his accomplices had guns drawn and one of the robbers hit the store’s security person in the head with the gun, injuring him, the prosecutor said.

Plante and the other robbers went behind the counter and removed several trays of gold jewelry.

After the robbery, they ran out of the store, got into a vehicle behind the Sunny Isle Shopping Center, and left the scene.

Plante faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the robbery count and a mandatory seven years and a $250,000 fine on the gun charge.

A sentencing date has been set for July 20, 2017.

This case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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