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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Virgin Islands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Golden Grove Prisoner Sentenced To Four Months In Prison For Cell Phone Possession

St. Croix, USVI - District Court Judge Raymond Finch, on December 22, 2014, sentenced Golden Grove Prisoner Avery Monsanto, age 51, to four months in prison for Possession of Prison Contraband, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent-in-Charge Vito S. Guarino announced. The sentence must be served consecutively to the sentence Monsanto was serving at the time of the offense. The Court also sentenced Monsanto to one year of supervised release.

Monsanto entered a guilty plea to Possession of Prison Contraband on August 6, 2014. The offense stemmed from a search of Monsanto’s prison cell while he was an inmate at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility located on St. Croix on April 7, 2014. Law enforcement officers discovered and seized three cellular telephones in a cell solely occupied by Monsanto. 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. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Everard Potter and Rami Badawy.

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Updated June 22, 2015