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Press Release

St. Croix Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm Charge

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

St. Croix, USVI – United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced that Victor Hugo Cannegieter, II, 31, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Croix to illegal possession of a machine gun. U.S. Magistrate Judge Emile A. Henderson, III set a sentencing date for January 5, 2024, Cannegieter faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to court documents, during the evening hours of June 7, 2023, Cannegieter arrived at Castaways Restaurant, located at Estate Solitude on St. Croix, in an inebriated state. Cannegieter engaged in a verbal altercation with two men, before being asked to leave Castaways by the bartender. Later that same evening, Cannegieter returned to Castaways and engaged in a physical brawl with two women. During that brawl, Cannegieter attempted to pull a .40 caliber Glock pistol out of his waistband. The bartender wrestled the pistol from Cannegieter and kept it away from him. Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officers subsequently arrived at the scene and placed Cannegieter under arrest.

Upon examination, law enforcement authorities determined that the pistol had been fitted with a “chip,” which is a part designed and intended for use in converting a firearm into a weapon capable of fully automatic fire, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The pistol was fully operable and it had been fitted with an extended magazine that had been loaded with 27 rounds of ammunition.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated this case with the assistance of the VIPD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Rikhye is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 17, 2023

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