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South Carolina Man Arrested At CEK Airport Based On Outstanding Warrant

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A South Carolina man made his initial appearance in St. Thomas before a federal judge after his arrest based on fugitive-from-justice charges from the U.S. mainland, authorities said.

Maurice Eugene Tucker, 35, of Columbia, heard from U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller that he is currently wanted for illegal weapon possession in South Carolina, U.S. Attorney Delia L. Smith said.

Tucker was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond and other conditions to allow him to return to Columbia, South Carolina for further court proceedings.

According to court documents, on May 4, 2021, a South Carolina grand jury returned an indictment charging Tucker with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On May 15, 2022, Tucker was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Cyril E. King Airport after he appeared for primary inspection before boarding a flight to the mainland.

Thereafter, Tucker was arrested and taken into custody by officers of the Virgin Islands Police Department.

This matter is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the
District of South Carolina.

United States Attorney Smith reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Pennsylvania Fugitive Detained at Cyril E. King Airport: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE -On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, the Virgin Islands Police Department received a call at 5:41p.m., from Customs and Border Patrol regarding a fugitive that entered the territory through Cyril E. King airport.

Detectives traveled to the airport and contacted CBP agents and were presented with a warrant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Craig Vanausdal.

Detectives then placed 39-year-old Craig Vanausdal into custody. Vanausdal was booked, processed, and remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending extradition.

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Texas Fugitive Stopped At St. Thomas Airport By CBP Agents: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A man wanted on criminal charges in Texas was taken into custody at the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas on Wednesday, according to the Virgin Islands Police Department.

Stuart Nicholas Lopez, 30, of Texas, was arrested and charged with being a fugitive from justice, after the Criminal Investigation Bureau determined that he is wanted in his home state for theft of property worth between $30,000 and $150,000, a Class III felony, according to the VIPD. Bail was set at $30,000.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents noticed the outstanding warrant on Lopez as he was clearing customs at CEKA.

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CBP, DEA Agents Seize St. Thomas Aircraft Tied To Smuggling Activities

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized a St. Thomas aircraft on Tuesday suspected of having been used for smuggling events.

During an arrest conducted in the fall of 2021, AMO agents working with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents detected items in connection with past aviation smuggling events. 

Through investigation of the arrested subject, agents learned an aircraft operated by the suspect had been flown by individuals without valid pilots’ licenses, violating federal aviation laws. 

“This seizure highlights the dedication and diligence of our agents,” said Director Air and Marine Operation, Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, Augusto Reyes. “This case has taken months of work, but that effort is resulting in the prevention of potentially dangerous aircraft operation and end to the use of this smuggling vehicle.” 

AMO agents located the aircraft at the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas and seized it in accordance with federal law. 

An investigation connected to the seized aircraft and suspect is currently ongoing. 

SOURCE: CBP

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Missing Mother And Daughter Found Unharmed At St. Thomas Airport: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A woman and her young daughter who were reported missing on St. Thomas Monday morning were found unharmed a few hours later, authorities said.

Leigh Ann Sharpe, 25, and her daughter Daisy were reported missing Tuesday, and police alerted the community in a press release and social media post at about 11:45 a.m. Monday.

VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said that Sharpe and the 3-year-old child had been found at the playground at the Cyril E. King Airport, and were uninjured.

Missing Mother And Daughter Found Unharmed At St. Thomas Airport: VIPD

The investigation into the matter is ongoing, and police thanked the community for their support in locating Sharpe.

Meanwhile, people on St. Thomas accused Sharpe of being an inattentive matron, prone to partying rather than parenting.

“I saw this mother last week at Magens beach… it was awful!!!” Kristin Elizabeth said. “She was with a group hanging in a van and so drugged out of her mind.. she got within a few feet of the beach, her daughter with floaters on so excited! The people she was with called her and the mom yanked the daughter back to the van. There were others and kids, and the kids playing in the dirt while the group blazed on… she could barely walk and this was 10 a.m. Heartbreaking (heart emoji).”

Dratte said the department is aware of another, unrelated case in which a mother and daughter were reported missing from St. Croix on social media.

He said that no one has filed a formal missing persons report or criminal complaint with police.

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3RD TIME’S NOT A CHARM: Twice Deported Trinidadian Shows Up In St. Thomas Again

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that a Trinidad and Tobago national was sentenced today to 17 months in prison for illegally reentering the United States after he was removed.

According to court documents, Allan Browne, 49, presented himself for inspection in April 2021 at
the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas, USVI, as a ticketed passenger on a flight to Miami, Florida.

Customs and Border Protection officers determined that he was not a citizen of the United States
and had not been granted any documentation to enter or remain in the United States.

The officers also determined that he had been previously removed from the United States on or about October 2020 and September 2014.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan Albino prosecuted the case.

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St. Thomas Man Charged With Smuggling 12 Pounds Of Cocaine At Cyril E. King Airport

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A man was arrested at the St. Thomas airport and charged with smuggling 12.1 pounds of cocaine, authorities said.

According to U.S. District Court documents, Tyree “Ballers Man” Morton transported cocaine, weighing approximately 5.5 kilograms, including packaging, from a location within the Cyril E. King airport to another location within the airport.

Morton is charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a) & (b)(1)(B)(ii)

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Morton said on social media that he graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School (CAHS) and attends the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI).

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Sleeper is prosecuting the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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‘High-Tech Stalker’ Stopped At Airport Based On Outstanding Warrant From California: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A California man who was dubbed a “high-tech stalker” was detained at the St. Thomas airport Friday based on an outstanding warrant, authorities said.

Michael David Kowitz, 56, of Los Gatos, was flagged at the Cyril E. King Airport after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents noticed he was wanted on weapons charges in California.

Kowitz was taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation Bureau based on an outstanding warrant from the State of California, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Authorities in California said that Kowitz “threatened and harassed” his ex-wife and her mother after hacking his former spouse’s telephone records.

Kowitz was “arrested, booked, and processed,” according to the VIPD. Bail was set at $25,000.00.

This case is currently under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

The Virgin Islands Police Department is asking anyone with information about this incident or any other to call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS or online at p3tips.com.

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Drunken Delta Passenger Taken Off Plane On St. Thomas In Handcuffs Kicking and Screaming

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A New York man was arrested on St. Thomas after police said he caused a drunken disturbance on a plane at the Cyril E. King Airport, authorities said.

Terry D’Or, 35, of Jamaica, New York, was charged with two counts of interfering with an officer and one count of disturbance of the peace, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

The incident occurred Wednesday when police were dispatched to a Delta Air Lines plane at Gate 4 of King Airport and made contact with the Delta station manager, who said a passenger was intoxicated and needed to be removed, according to a sworn police affidavit.

When officers got on the plane, D’Or was in the bathroom, and officers confronted him and informed him he needed to leave. He stopped where his friend was seated and physically resisted officers, gripping the seats tightly, police said.

D’Or lost his balance and fell to the floor, and police held him by his arms and helped escort him as he staggered off the plane, according a VIPD probable cause fact sheet.

“God will come for you. You have to answer to God. You walk me like a slave,” D’Or screamed as he lurched forward at officers who were helping him steady himself on his feet.

Police said they could smell alcohol coming from D’Or’s breath and he threw himself down, knocking his friend’s camera out of his hands, “causing it to fall to the ground and shatter,” the fact sheet stated. Police escorted D’Or away from the plane and he “dropped to his knees and placed his left arm in the air with a closed fist,” before refusing to move again, saying “I am not going anywhere. I ain’t going out like this.”

D’Or flipped on his back and continued resisting until an officer drew a Taser, and D’Or finally stood up and continued to resist as officers handcuffed him, according to the fact sheet. On the drive to the hospital for a COVID-19 test, police said D’Or “repeatedly kicked the door and ceiling of the unit, banged his head against the cage, and yelled.”

After he was processed, D’Or posted $1,000 and was released. He appeared in court for his advice-of-rights hearing Monday, where Territorial Public Defender Mary Ann Matney said he was staying in St. Thomas on business.

D’Or has no prior contact with the criminal justice system and “he is a self-employed influencer and he has an MBA in finance,” Matney said.

Magistrate Judge Paula Norkaitis agreed to lower bail to $500, and granted him permission to return to New York while the case is pending.

National problem

Delta Air Lines has asked the Department of Justice to help create a national no-fly list of people convicted of unruly behavior on an airplane so they can be banned from flying on any commercial airline.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian, in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland last week, asked for the DOJ’s support in “the much-needed step” of a comprehensive list of “any person convicted of an on-board disruption.” Inclusion on the list should prevent them from commercial air travel, he said.

In the letter, a copy of which was provided to USA TODAY and was first reported on by Reuters, Bastian said such a list “will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft.”

However, the rate of unruly passenger incidents has dropped about 50% since record-highs in early 2021, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. So far in 2022, the FAA has gotten 323 reports of unruly passengers — 205 of them related to face masks.

The FAA can impose a fine of up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passengers, and an incident can result in multiple violations. The agency levied more than $1 million in fines against problem passengers in 2021.

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Dominican National Tries To Enter USA By Using A False Name At CEK Airport

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A citizen of the Dominican Republic was arrested on criminal charges Friday at the Cyril E. King Airport because he gave false information to U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection agents.

According to court documents, Luis Miguel Lopez, 28, presented himself to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for inspection at the Cyril E. King Airport.

There, he presented what purported to be a Puerto Rican driver’s license bearing the name of another person and repeatedly told agents that he was a United States citizen born in Puerto Rico.

An inspection of his baggage revealed a Social Security card and birth certificate bearing the same false name appearing on the driver’s license he had presented to Customs and Border Protection officials. Records checks revealed the documents were issued to others – not to a person with the name being used by Luis Miguel Lopez.

When confronted with this information, Luis Miguel Lopez admitted to agents that he is a citizen of the Dominican Republic and provided his true name.

Luis Miguel Lopez is charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2) for making a material false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Executive Branch of the United States government.

If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/tsa-confirms-allows-illegal-immigrants-arrest-warrants-id-airports