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Tipster Alerts Police To Estate Richmond Man With Unlicensed Gun, Ammunition: VIPD

CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man is facing illegal weapons charges after an informant tipped off police that he was in possession of an unlicensed gun and ammunition, authorities said.

Bernard Hodge, 29, of Estate Richmond was arrested at 8:13 a.m. Wednesday and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession or sale of ammunition, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“An officer was notified by a concerned citizen of a firearm in an unsecured vehicle,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. “Hodge, the owner of the vehicle, admitted to owning the firearm.”

A check of the Firearm Bureau’s records revealed Hodge was not licensed to possess a firearm in the territory, according to the VIPD. He was placed under arrest as a result.

Bail for Hodge was set at $50,000. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections (BOC) pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

St. Croix District Chief of Police Sidney Elskoe commended the citizen for contacting the police officer to report the illegal firearm.

“Thank you for speaking up,” Chief Elskoe said. “We encourage everyone to say something to us when they see illegal activity.”

Based on the charges against him, Hodge is likely to face federal firearms charges in the future as well.

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