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Traffic Stop Of Black Sedan Near Refinery Finds Man With Unlicensed Gun: VIPD

SUNNY ISLE — Officers of the VIPD Special Operations Bureau executing a routine traffic stop on a black sedan near the St. Croix oil refinery discovered an unlicensed firearm near the passenger inside the vehicle, authorities said.

Raheem Christian, 28, of Beeston Hill, was arrested at 12:00 p.m. today and charged with carrying of a firearm, openly or concealed, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Officers, investigating an unrelated matter in Estate Pearl, conducted a traffic stop of a black Honda sedan occupied by Christian and another man, according to the VIPD.

“Officers observed a firearm in the vehicle, and after a firearms check with the Department’s Firearms Bureau, it was confirmed the firearm was unlicensed,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. “Christian admitted ownership of the firearm and was arrested.”

Bail for Christian was set at $50,000. Unable to post bail, he was placed into the custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

Sean Santos, Chief of Police in the St. Croix District, praised the officers for their tenacity in finding the illegal firearm.

“Our officers continue to work hard find all unlicensed firearms. With the community’s support, we will keep working to rid our streets of illegal guns,” Chief Santos said.

He encourages the community to contact the VIPD with information on crimes by calling 911, the Crime Tip Line at (340) 778-4950, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS.

All individuals listed as arrested or charged with a crime in this report are presumed innocent until proven guilty 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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