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St. Thomas’ Jabari Hodge Could Get Life For Being A Convicted Felon With A Gun

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man with a history of assault using a dangerous weapon admitted in federal court that he was a convicted felon with a handgun.

Jabari Hodge, 29, of St. Thomas pled guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm in U.S. District Court, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to court documents, on October 6, 2019 at approximately 1:10 a.m., VIPD officers approached Hodge, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of his parked vehicle, with the driver’s side door open, in the parking lot of a shopping center in the Red Hook area.

Hodge was the only person in the vehicle. Upon approaching him, one of the officers noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The officer saw what appeared to be a marijuana on the floorboard near the Hodge’s feet. Another VIPD officer noticed a partially-opened bag with what appeared to be a jar containing marijuana inside.

The officers informed Hodge that they were going to search the vehicle, at which point he said: “Just take the weed, and let me go.”

The officers proceeded to search the vehicle and located a fully loaded, silver and black 9mm Kel-Tec handgun with one round in the chamber and seven rounds in the magazine.

Prior to his October 6, 2019 capture, Hodge had been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and was not authorized to possess a firearm under federal law.

Hodge faces a sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

However, should the court determine that Hodge is an armed career criminal, then he will be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment up to life imprisonment.

Hodge was charged with assault using a dangerous weapon in August 2013, according to VIPD records.

This case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Juan A. Albino.

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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 50 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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