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Press Release

Hatian National Pleads Guilty to being an Alien in Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI – Venel Touze, 26, of St. Thomas, pleaded guilty in District Court before Judge Curtis Gomez, to one count of being an alien in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

According to court documents, On October 31, 2018, Touze was traveling in a vehicle in down town Charlotte Amalie when officers of the Virgin Islands Police Department stopped the vehicle for a traffic infraction. Touze appeared nervous, and officers asked him to exit the vehicle. Touze then admitted to having a firearm on his person. Officers patted down Touze and discovered a .9mm Ruger firearm, Model P94DC. Touze, a Haitian National, was in the United States by virtue of an expired Employment Authorization Card from 2016.

Touze faces a maximum sentence of 10 years’ incarceration, a period of supervised release of not more than three years, and a maximum fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2019.

This case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard E. Potter.

Updated February 21, 2019

Firearms Offenses