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Nathaniel Thomas Jr. Faces Five Additional Years In Prison For Escape Last Year

CHRISTIANSTED – A St. Croix man admitted in federal court today that he willfully escaped from local custody and could have five additional years tacked onto the 23 years in prison he is already serving.

Nathaniel “Jahreek” Thomas, Jr., 29, of St. Croix, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon, Jr. to escape from custody, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, according to Shappert.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court on March 13, 2018, the defendant was convicted of federal and local charges, including felon in possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment in the first degree in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Division.

Upon his conviction, the U.S. District Court Judge remanded Thomas into custody pending sentencing.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service transported Thomas to the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility, where federal prisoners are detained pursuant to an agreement with the Attorney General of the United States.

On March 15, 2018, the defendant escaped from Golden Grove.

He was located by law enforcement agents in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on April 7, 2018 and was taken into custody.

Thomas faces a term of imprisonment of not more than five years and a fine of not more than $250,000 on his current charges.

He is currently serving a twenty-three year federal sentence for his previous federal convictions.

The two people who helped him escape from Golden Grove on St. Croix have never been brought to justice.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshal Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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