St. Thomas Man Who Received AK-47 Assault Rifle In Duffel Bag At Hospital Ground Pleads Guilty: USAO
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man who was captured on surveillance video receiving an AK-47 assault rifle in a duffel bag near Hospital Ground last year admitted to that act in federal court, authorities said.
Akeem Dijhani Julien, 25, of St. Thomas, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller in District Court and entered a guilty plea to the charge of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.
According to court documents, on April 8, 2020, while patrolling the Hospital Ground neighborhood in St. Thomas due to recent shootings, Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officers pursued a group of men, including Julien, after the group ran away when officers approached.
Surveillance video captured Julien and the others climbing over a railing and onto a patio with two black bags. The surveillance video shows Julien in possession of one of the bags which he then hands to another individual.
The surveillance video further shows the other individual leave the patio with two bags, heading in one direction, while Julien and others leave in the opposite direction.
The bag Julien possessed contained an AK-47 firearm with an obliterated serial number. Julien’s DNA was recovered from the AK-47 firearm.
The offense carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to five years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).