Three St. Croix Men Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Federal Firearms Offense and Robbery Third Degree
St. Croix, USVI – On Monday August 18, 2014, Chief District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis sentenced defendants Francisco “Cisco” Hassell III, 29, Edwin Hendrickson, Jr., 28, and Rusiel “Romeo” Encarnacion, 33, to ten years in prison for their roles in two armed robberies. Each defendant received a three year prison sentence for robbery third degree. In addition, Judge Lewis imposed a consecutive 84- month prison term on each defendant for using and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Under federal law, any sentence for using a firearm during a crime of violence must be run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for the crime of violence during which the gun was used.
Court records show that Hassell III, Hendrickson, Jr. and Encarnacion were arrested on January 13, 2013 by the VIPD after they robbed patrons at gunpoint at the Cool Out Bar in Peter’s Rest. Shortly after the robbery at the Cool Out Bar, Hassell III, Hendrickson, Jr. and Encarnacion saw two individuals walking on Hospital Street in the vicinity of the Virgin Islands Police Department Marine Unit and robbed them at gunpoint as well. The defendants were subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury and pled guilty on February 14, 2014. They have been detained since their arrest and were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the conclusion of Monday’s sentencing.
"As these sentences show, those who use guns to engage in violent acts against the citizens of the Virgin Islands will be vigorously prosecuted and subject to stiff punishment, " U.S. Attorney Sharpe said.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virgin Islands Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rhonda Williams-Henry and Alphonso Andrews.