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St. Thomas Man Arrested For Having SKS Rifle and Bullet-Proof Vest: USAO

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man was arrested today on an indictment charging him with two federal firearms offenses and three territorial firearms offenses, authorities said.

Levi Registe, 26,  made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on the federal charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and the territorial charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and possession of body armor by a person convicted of a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said. Registe was detained pending a detention hearing tomorrow.

According to the indictment, on December 16, 2017, Registe possessed a SKS rifle, a shotgun, and a bulletproof vest.

The indictment further states that Registe was previously convicted in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands for assault in the first degree, and is not licensed to possess any of the firearms in the Virgin Islands.

Under federal law, possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon carries a sentence of not more than 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

Under territorial law, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a minimum sentence of 20 years and a $50,000 fine; possession of an unlicensed firearm carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a minimum fine of $10,000, and possession of body armor by a person convicted of a crime of violence carries a maximum sentence of three years.

Shappert said that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

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

The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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