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Man Who Brandished Gun, Duct Taped Employees In Jewelry Store Robbery Faces 40 Years In Prison

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A St. Thomas man who allegedly brandished a firearm during a jewelry store robbery and duct taped employees to threaten and intimidate them faces 40 years in prison if convicted and sentenced to the maximum.

On November 1, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a six count superseding indictment against Wayne Bellille, 46, with two Hobbs Act robberies, conspiracy, and related gun charges, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C. F. Shappert said.

Bellille made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and was detained pending
further proceedings.

The superseding indictment is the result of an investigation into Hobbs Act robberies of two jewelry stores on St. Thomas: Signature Jewelers on August 19, 2015, and 3G’sJewelry and Repair on September 14, 2015.

According to the superseding indictment, Bellille and other co-conspirators conspired to rob the stores and brandished weapons to threaten and intimidate store employees.

The robbers used duct tape to bind and gag the victims and then fled the store with cash and merchandise.

If convicted, Bellille faces up to 20 years on each of the Hobbs Act robbery charges and a mandatory 7- and 25-year consecutive sentences for each brandishing of a firearm charge, and a $250,000 fine.

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

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

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.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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