Nadir Man Charged With Federal Crimes In Shotgun Jewelry Store Robbery
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man faces new federal charges in connection to a shotgun robbery of Gems and Gold Corner on September 19, but two other wanted, unnamed suspects remain at large.
Jamari Benjamin, 23, of Estate Nadir, was brought in for questioning about four hours after the robbery and charged with several local crimes, including first- and second-degree robbery, first-degree assault, possession of stolen property, and unauthorized possession of a firearm.
United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands said that a complaint has been filed charging Benjamin with interference with commerce by threats or violence and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
According to the affidavit filed in this case, on Saturday, September 19, a white Suzuki Vitara arrived in the area of Gems & Gold Corner jewelry store located on the waterfront near Veteran’s Drive, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
Two men wearing masks, got out of the white Suzuki Vitara with firearms and entered Gems & Gold Corner jewelry store. A third person remained with the vehicle as the driver.
The two masked men brandished the firearms and threatened the jewelry store employees and others. One of the masked men physically assaulted
a jewelry store employee using the firearm, striking the employee’s head.
The two masked men broke the jewelry showcases and took jewelry from the store. They then retreated from the jewelry store, got back into the white Suzuki Vitara, and were driven away from the area of the jewelry store by the same driver.
The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) initiated an investigation into the robbery, collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses and developing
sources of information to provide investigative leads.
This led VIPD to interview Jamari Benjamin, who admitted to participating in the shotgun robbery.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan Albino.
A federal criminal complaint is merely a formal charging document, it is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.
Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, U.S. Attorney Shappert said.