Golden Grove Prisoner Sentenced To 30 Days In Prison For Cell Phone Possession
St. Croix, USVI - District Court Judge Raymond Finch, on March 30, 2015, sentenced Golden Grove Prisoner Al-Ahad Barbel, 29, to 30 days in prison for possession of prison contraband, announced United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent-in-Charge Vito S. Guarino. Barbel also was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100 to the court. The 30 days must be served consecutively to the sentence Barbel was serving at the time of the offense.
On June 20, 2014, Barbel pleaded guilty to possession of prison contraband after law enforcement officers discovered and seized a cellular phone and a subscriber identity module from his person while he was an inmate at the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility. On September 18, 2013, federal and local law enforcement officers conducted a search at the St. Croix facility for contraband. Cellular telephones are prohibited contraband in correctional facilities because they are known to be used by prisoners to intimidate witnesses, orchestrate narcotics transactions, and to facilitate other criminal activity, including murders.
The case was investigated by the V.I. Bureau of Corrections Gang Intelligence Search Team and the DEA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alphonso Andrews and Rami Badawy.