Four Arrested On Firearm Trafficking Charges
St. Thomas, USVI- A federal grand jury has returned a 12-count indictment charging Tequan Anthony Joseph, 23, Ja’Moi Khadeem Corraspe, 22, D’Mari Jahcoi Heyliger, 22, and Calvia Lake, 20, with federal and territorial firearm offenses, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced today. Joseph was arrested Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia, and is awaiting transportation to St. Thomas. Corraspe was arrested Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in White Plains, New York, and is also awaiting transportation to St. Thomas. Heyliger was arrested Wednesday, April 15, 2015, on St. Thomas, and is detained pending a detention hearing and arraignment Friday in District Court. Lake was arrested Tuesday, April 14, 2015, on St. Thomas, and was released on bond. Her arraignment also is scheduled Friday in District Court.
According to the indictment, the three men and one woman conspired to unlawfully mail firearms from Florida to St. Thomas. The arrest of the four individuals resulted from a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted some of the packages with firearms.
Joseph is charged with three firearm conspiracy counts, one count of unlawful shipment of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, and one count of unlawful mailing of a firearm. Heyliger is charged with two firearm conspiracy counts, two counts of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, and unlawful attempt to receive a firearm. Heyliger also is charged under Virgin Islands law with two counts of possession of a firearm with altered identification marks, and two counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm. Corraspe is charged with three firearm conspiracy counts, and Lake is charged with one firearm conspiracy count.
Conspiracy to unlawfully mail firearms carries a maximum sentence of two years. The other federal offenses carry a maximum sentence of five years. The territorial charge of possession of firearms with altered identification marks carries a mandatory 15-year sentence, and the territorial charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm carries a maximum sentence of five years.
United States Attorney Sharpe 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.
The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.