St. Croix Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number
St. Croix, USVI – Dale Ritter, 53, of St. Croix, pled guilty on March 23, 2018, in District Count to one federal count of Possession of a Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number, and one local count of Illegal Use of Utility Equipment, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
This federal offense carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to 5 years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release for not more than 3 years. The local offense carries a potential fine of not less than $500 nor more than $3,000, or a prison sentence of up to 1 year. Sentencing is set for July 25, 2018.
According to court documents, on July 21, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) executed a search warrant at Ritter’s residence in Frederiksted, St. Croix. During the execution of this search warrant, DEA agents located a Taurus Millennium 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number. This firearm was determined to be operable and had been shipped in interstate commerce. Additionally, the agents located unauthorized electric wires running from a pole owned by WAPA that provided electricity to Ritter’s residence and a marijuana grow room.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Task Force Officers with the Virgin Islands Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston.