Four Men Sentenced To Federal Prison For St. Thomas Jewelry Store Robbery
St. Thomas, USVI - District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez today sentenced Shaquim Fredericks, 20, Warkim J. Gabriel, 19, and Chefton C. Newton, 26, to 108 months in federal prison for their role in last year’s armed robbery of Imperial Jewelry Store on Main Street, St. Thomas, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Co-conspirator, Alvin M. Thomas, was sentenced to 85 months in prison.
After a jury trial in District Court in July, the jury found Fredericks, Gabriel, Newton and Thomas guilty of Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery, Interference with Commerce by Robbery and Conspiracy to Possess a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence.
Evidence at the three-day trial revealed that at about 9:30 a.m. on March 15, 2014, Fredericks, Gabriel, Newton and Thomas, along with other conspirators, dressed in all black clothing, wearing ski masks and possessing at least three firearms, entered the store, pointed the handguns at the employees and patrons of the store, and proceeded to take several hundred pieces of jewelry with an overall value of $2 million dollars. The perpetrators jumped over counters, broke glass display cases, and placed the stolen jewelry in their backpacks. The patrons and employees were kept at bay by the perpetrators by threats of violence and firearms. The perpetrators then fled to the Catherineberg area where they were arrested. Some of the jewelry was recovered in close proximity to where the perpetrators were arrested shortly after the robbery. The three firearms were also recovered.
In addition to a prison term, each of the perpetrators was sentenced to three years of supervised release, a $300 special assessment, and ordered to pay restitution to the jewelry store’s insurance carrier.
The case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Lake.