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Routine Traffic Stop Nets 2 Suspects On Illegal Gun Charges

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Virgin Islands Police have arrested a motorist and their passenger on gun charges after conducting a traffic stop in St. Thomas while looking for a stolen vehicle.

Kiante Christopher, 23, and Shyrah Isaac, 24, were each arrested and charged with constructive possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of ammunition, and possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a church, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Routine Traffic Stop Nets 2 Suspects On Illegal Gun Charges
VIPD mugshot of Kiante Christopher, 23, of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas.

During the traffic stop at 2:40 a.m. Saturday, officers noticed an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle, according to the VIPD.  

“Upon further inspection of the vehicle, a loaded black unmarked 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number and several 9mm cartridges was discovered in a black bag located on the driver’s seat near the center console,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.   

Neither driver nor passenger in the vehicle indicated that they had obtained a license to carry a firearm in the Virgin Islands, according to Dratte.   

Routine Traffic Stop Nets 2 Suspects On Illegal Gun Charges
VIPD mugshot of Shyrah Isaac, 24, of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas.

Bail for Christopher and Isaac was set at $75,000. Unable to post bail, they were each remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending advice of rights hearings. 

All individuals listed as arrested or charged with a crime in this report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

By 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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