CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Officers of the Virgin Islands Police Department made several arrests and confiscations involving firearms around the territory over the weekend.
On January 29, at about 4:30 a.m., officers on St. Thomas arrested La-Shorn Samuel, 33, of Estate Wintberg, charging him with possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
“Samuel was observed by officers with a loaded handgun, along with several extended magazines, after responding to shots fired in the vicinity of Crystal Gade,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.
Bail for Samuel was set at $60,000, which he was unable to post. He was subsequently turned over to the Bureau of Corrections pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
Also on January 29, at 10:18 p.m., officers on St. Croix arrested 28-year-old Jimmar Payne of Estate White Lady, charging him with carrying of firearm openly or concealed, according to the VIPD.
“Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Payne on the Melvin H. Evans Highway, in the vicinity of the Ricardo Richards Elementary School,” Derima said. “During the course of the traffic stop, officers learned that a firearm was in the vehicle, and Payne could not produce a valid license to possess the firearm.”
Unable to post $50,000 bail, he was remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
On January 29, at 11:28 p.m., police on St. Croix also arrested Okechi Brin, 28, of Orange Grove, charging him with carrying of a firearm openly or concealed, police said.
“Officers observed Brin commit a traffic infraction, prompting them to conduct a traffic stop,” the VIPD spokesman said. “During the course of the traffic stop, officers discovered a firearm in the vehicle.”
Bail for Brin was set at $50,000, which he could not post. He was subsequently turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
Police Commissioner Designee Ray Martinez commended his officers for the arrests, and reminded residents of his promise to crack down on small infractions. “Paying attention to little details can produce big results,” Commissioner Martinez said.
He continued, “This is only the beginning. We will continue to enforce traffic infractions; that enforcement can and will help us take illegal guns off the street, and reduce the criminal element in the territory.” Commissioner Martinez encourages everyone with information on crimes to contact police by calling 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau on St. Thomas at (340) 774-2211, the Crime Tip Line on St. Croix at (340) 778-4950, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-8477 or online at p3tips.com.
All individuals listed as arrested or charged with a crime in this report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.