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Three St. Croix Men Indicted By Feds For Home Invasion-Car Jacking in Aftermath of Irma

COLD-BLOODED HOME INVADER? CHRISS CEPEDA, 22, OF MACHUCHAL, ST. CROIX

CHRISTIANSTED – One man was detained and two are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court today for detention hearings after they were arrested and charged in connection with a home invasion and carjacking on St. Croix, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Luis Davis, 30, Chriss Cepeda, 22, and Joel Rivera, 33, all of St. Croix, were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Golden Rock on Monday.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of September 10, 2017, the three men allegedly broke into the residence of Stephen O’Dea and Kathryn Duncan, pistol whipped Stephen O’Dea, kidnapped the two residents, and stole cash, cell phones, and vehicles.

Cepeda was detained on Monday; Davis and Rivera were detained on Thursday, according to Jim Latham with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on St. Thomas.

The indictment against the three men charges the following:

Count I: Using a Firearm during Violent Crime (not less than 7 years);
Count II: Burglary in the First Degree (not less than 30 years);
Count III: Home Invasion (not less than 15 nor more than 20 years);
Count IV: Assault in the First Degree (not more than 15 years);
Count V: Carjacking (not more than 15 years);
Count VI: Kidnapping (not less than 1 nor more than 20 years);
Count VII: Kidnapping (not less than 1 nor more than 20 years);
Count VIII: Robbery in the First Degree (not more than 20 years);
Count IX: Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm (not less than 15 nor more than 20 years);
Count X: Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm (not less than 15 nor more than 20 years);
Davis also faces an additional count:
Count XI: Felon in Possession of Firearm (not more than 10 years).

Hurricane Irma struck the Virgin Islands on September 6, 2017 and many homes on St. Croix still did not have electricity when the alleged home invasion-car jacking took place.

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.

Chriss Cepeda says on Facebook that he is from Kingshill and that he studied at NUC – IBC Institute – Centro de Extensión (culinary college). On Facebook, Joel Rivera says that his favorite online newspaper is the Virgin Islands Consortium.

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

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Huston.

THE VICTIM (ABOVE): STEPHEN O’DEA OF EQUUS RIDES HORSE BACK RIDING ON ST. CROIX


JOEL RIVERA ON FACEBOOK WEARING “MONEY” T-SHIRT.

CHRISS CEPEDA ON FACEBOOK

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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.

2 Comments

  1. Yvonne Marie
    September 28, 2018 at 10:28 AM — Reply

    You need to take down the picture of the man with his kids or at least Crop the shit…. kids shouldn’t have to be mixed up in these things…. its disrespectful

    • September 28, 2018 at 12:46 PM — Reply

      The same respect the alleged home invaders showed to the owners of their home when they were pistol-whipped?

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