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St. Croix Man Whose Home Was Surveilled By The Air By The Feds Cops To Having A .38 Special, Stealing WAPA

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Croix man pleaded guilty in federal court on St. Thomas after U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized marijuana plants, cocaine and a firearm from his Anna’s Hope home three weeks ago.

Troy Lance Patterson, 52, of St. Croix pled guilty today to carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense and illegal use of a utility, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to court documents, federal aerial reconnaissance of Patterson’s #81 Anna’s Hope St. Croix residence revealed that it was a potential marijuana cultivation site.

The DEA’s Airwing Unit “made multiple aerial passes” over Patterson’s home on August 19, 2019 and photographed what appeared to be an indoor marijuana cultivation operation, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

On September 18, 2019, federal agents executed a federal search warrant at the residence and located Patterson in possession of an unlicensed, loaded, and operable .38 special Taurus revolver, which the agents confiscated.

During the subsequent search of Patterson’s residence, agents located over 80 rounds of ammunition, multiple scales, plastic baggies, approximately 168 gross grams of cocaine hydrochloride, approximately 117 grams of marijuana, and $12,473.00 in U.S. currency.

Federal agents also located a multi-room indoor marijuana grow operation containing marijuana plants for which electricity was supplied by way of an unauthorized Water and Power Authority (WAPA) utility connection, violations of federal and Virgin Islands law.

In all, DEA agents found 301 marijuana plants, various quantities of packaged marijuana totaling approximately 117.46 gross grams, approximately 168 gross grams of cocaine, and the cash.

Patterson faces a minimum of five years imprisonment for the Carrying of a Firearm during a Drug Trafficking offense, consecutive to any other sentence, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and forfeiture of the currency, firearm and ammunition.

Patterson has a felony arrest warrant out of Oregon in 2004 for failure to appear in a narcotics case, which remains active, according to U.S. District Court records.

A sentencing date has been set for February 4, 2021.

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