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23 Days Skylarking In Puerto Rico After Conviction Costs St. Croix Man An Extra 2.33 Years In Prison

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Croix man who went on a wild shootout near Sunny Isle Shopping Center and once convicted of that escapade, escaped from prison two days later, had an additional 2.33 years in prison tacked on to the time he will have to serve.

Nathaniel “Jahreek” Thomas, Jr., 30 of St. Croix, was sentenced today for escape from custody, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis sentenced Thomas to 28 months of imprisonment consecutive to the federal sentence he is currently serving, and three years of supervised release.

Judge Lewis also ordered him to pay a $100 special assessment.

On March 19, Thomas pleaded guilty to escape from custody.

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

Upon his conviction, the federal judge remanded Thomas into custody pending sentencing.

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

On March 15, 2018, two days after being convicted by a federal jury, Thomas escaped from the Golden Grove facility with help from still unidentified Golden Grove Prison officials.

Following an extensive manhunt by federal and territorial law enforcement, Thomas was located in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on April 7, 2018 and taken into federal custody.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshal Service.

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

23 Days Skylarking In Puerto Rico After Conviction Costs St. Croix Man An Extra 2.33 Years In Prison

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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