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Press Release


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

St. Croix, VI – United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced that Joel G. Rivera, 37, of St. Croix, was sentenced by District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis to 150 months incarceration for his conviction on Carjacking and Using a Firearm During a Violent Crime, followed by three years of supervised release, a fine of $1,000.00, a special assessment of $200.00, and $1,600.00 restitution.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of September 10, 2017, Rivera, along with two assailants, broke into a couple’s home in Estate Rust Op Twist while brandishing a firearm. The group physically assaulted the male victim by punching him in the head and threatened to kill the couple while demanding money. Thereafter, at gunpoint, Rivera and his assailants forced the couple into the rear passenger seat of their Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck and drove to the shoreline location where the male victim had left his wallet. After retrieving the wallet, Rivera and his assailants fled in the Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck and a Jeep Wrangler. In addition to the vehicles, Rivera stole $200.00 cash, two iPhones valued at $600 each and an iPad valued at $200.00.

This case was investigated by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Huston. This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. For more information on the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, please see:

Updated February 23, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses