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BVI Native Gets Slap On Wrist From Federal Judge For Being Illegal With A Loaded Glock In St. Thomas

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A BVI native was given a less-than-one-year sentence by a federal judge for being an illegal alien in the territory carrying a concealed, loaded semi-automatic weapon.

Ashan Westcott, 29, of Road Town, Tortola, was sentenced on Thursday for possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Gomez gave Westcott 10 months in prison, followed by a one-year term of supervised release, court records indicate.

According to the plea agreement, on March 2, the Virgin Islands Police Department responded to a motorcycle and vehicle accident on Turpentine Run Road, St. Thomas.

Westcott, who was injured in the accident, was identified as the driver of the motorcycle. In response to an EMT’s request to locate the defendant’s ID, a VIPD officer looked in a backpack Westcott had been wearing at the time of the accident.

While looking for the ID, the officer found a loaded Glock Model 23, .40 caliber handgun in Westcott’s backpack. Westcott is a citizen of Tortola, British Virgin Islands and when he was apprehended on March 2, he was in the United States illegally.

In Westcott’s native BVI, all firearms are prohibited from being owned by civilians under British law.

This case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith J. Edwards.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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