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Habitual Offender Goes Down On St. Croix Gun Charge After Routine Traffic Stop

CHRISTIANSTED — A 45-year-old St. Croix man avoided federal prosecution on multiple drug charges by agreeing to a lesser charge in a plea bargain to illegal gun possession charges only, authorities said.

United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that Ladislau “Lad” Concepcion, Jr., of Christiansted, pleaded guilty today in federal court to carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.

According to court documents, on March 7, 2017, Concepcion was traffic-stopped near the McDonald’s restaurant in Orange Grove, St. Croix.

Concepcion failed to produce a valid driver’s license, insurance, or registration for the vehicle he was operating, court records indicate.

Subsequently, a K-9 drug detection dog alerted for the presence of narcotics in the rear of the vehicle and a search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 172 grams of marijuana, 11 grams of crack cocaine, 10 grams of cocaine, empty vials, plastic baggies, a digital scale, scissors, and three cellular phones.

A loaded Taurus .38 caliber handgun was located in the vehicle’s glove box. Concepcion, a convicted felon, did not have a license to possess the firearm, and was not permitted to possess it according to law.

Concepcion faces a mandatory minimum of five years of incarceration for the offense, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and forfeiture of the firearm and $1,046.00 in cash.

A sentencing date has been scheduled for December 20.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa P. Ortiz.

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