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Press Release

Former Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Officer Sentenced for Solicitation of Bribe

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI – United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today that Robert Defreitas, formerly a sworn law enforcement officer with the Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA), was sentenced to 41 months in prison for Travel Act Bribery and Solicitation of a Bribe by a Public Employee. Defreitas was convicted of these offenses following a jury trial in December 2019.

According to the evidence presented at trial, in August 2018 Defreitas assisted with a DLCA inspection of a St. Thomas business, during which time he discovered that one of the company’s workers had not entered the country by legal means. Defrietas attempted to use this information against the victim. The victim later recorded a phone call in which Defreitas sought sexual favors in return for not reporting the vicitm’s immigration status, and this recording was played for the jury during the prosecution’s case-in-chief.

This case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Brooks.

Updated November 2, 2020

Public Corruption