St. Croix Man Arrested For Carrying A Loaded Firearm On An Aircraft
St. Thomas, USVI – Jahmal A. Rivera, 28, of St. Croix was arrested on Tuesday and charged in United States District Court with having a loaded firearm on an aircraft announced United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe. Rivera appeared yesterday in District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and was ordered held without bail pending trial.
According to the criminal complaint filed in District Court, Rivera was arrested after arriving at the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas on a Seaborne Airlines plane from St. Croix, and a loaded Glock, .45 caliber firearm was found in his carry-on baggage. The firearm was discovered by Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) and United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB) who were conducting screening of all passengers arriving in St. Thomas from St. Croix. Under federal law, it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm on an aircraft either on your person or in luggage unless properly declared.
If convicted of this offense, Rivera faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. However, a criminal complaint is merely a charging document and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
United States Attorney Sharpe praised the work of the VIPA and CPB in stepping up their inspections of flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix. This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tabaco Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nelson Jones.