Four Men Indicted on Hobbs Act Robbery and Related Gun Charges
St. Thomas, USVI – Shaquielle Correa, 21, of St. Croix, made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged by indictment with Hobbs Act robbery, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and brandishing a firearm during a federal crime of violence, Acting United States Attorney Joycelyn Hewlett announced. Correa, along with Jarmaine Ayala, 36, Wahilli James, 21, both of St. Croix, and Ron Delano Kuntz, 42, of St. Thomas, are charged in a conspiracy to rob Gems and Gold Corner Jewelry Store on St. Thomas. All four men are scheduled to be arraigned on June 26, 2017.
According to the indictment, on September 16, 2013, the four men conspired with each other and other unidentified co-conspirators to rob the store, brandished weapons to threaten and intimidate store employees, and then fled the store with merchandise.
If convicted, each of the four men face up to 20 years in prison on the Hobbs Act robbery charge, plus a mandatory seven-year consecutive sentence for the brandishing a firearm charge.
This case is being investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anna A. Vlasova and Kim L. Chisholm.
Acting United States Attorney Hewlett 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.