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St. Thomas Man Wanted In Hospital Ground Illegal Guns Case, Arrested In Oklahoma After Traffic Stop: USAO

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man wanted for questioning in an illegal gun possession case in Hospital Ground was arrested in Oklahoma after a traffic stop, authorities said.

Romeo Walter is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm; possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number; possession of a firearm within a school zone; possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number within the territory of the Virgin Islands; and unauthorized possession of a firearm within the territory of the Virgin Islands, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Walter was apprehended yesterday during a traffic stop, outside of Oklahoma City, according to Shappert.

He is expected to make his initial appearance on the federal complaint filed in the District of the Virgin Islands today in the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to the affidavit filed in this case, on April 8, 2020, Virgin Islands Police Officers investigating recent shootings in the Hospital Ground neighborhood of St. Thomas pursued a group of men that fled as the officers entered the Jah Yard area.

Walter was identified as one of the four men who fled. One of the men, Kenan Thomas, was arrested after allegedly hiding two bags he carried while fleeing to a nearby residence.

The bags contained four firearms—an AK-47 pistol, an AR-15 pistol, a .45 caliber handgun, and a 10 mm handgun—and over 200 rounds of ammunition.

Walter allegedly had possessed the firearms contained in the two black bags.

According to the affidavit, Walter’s DNA was recovered from one of the black bags containing the firearms; from two of the firearms; and from two AK pistol magazines.

Walter is prohibited from carrying firearms, as he was previously convicted of multiple felonies in Arizona.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).

A complaint is merely a charging document, and it is not evidence of guilt.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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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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