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St. Thomas Man Pleads Guilty To Illegal Gun Possession After Fleeing U.S. Customs At Red Hook

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man who fled the Customs inspection area in Red Hook and left a handgun in a backpack behind, pleaded guilty to illegal gun charges in federal court Tuesday, authorities said.

Javier Enrique Lima pled guilty to possessing and transporting a firearm with an obliterated serial number and departing a customs facility without authorization, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to information provided in court and in court documents, on February 3, Lima was at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the Red Hook ferry terminal after returning from Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Javier Lima on Facebook

A CBP Officer working the x-ray machine noticed a firearm in the backpack Lima brought with him, and called for another officer.

Lima immediately fled the facility on foot, leaving his backpack. The backpack contained a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Law enforcement agents made multiple efforts to locate Lima, but were unable to do so. He later turned himself in.

Lima was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and will be
sentenced at a later date.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Rainwater.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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