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Press Release

St. Thomas Man Charged with Attempting to Smuggle Machine Gun with an Obliterated Serial Number After Returning From Tortola

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

St. Thomas, USVI- Javier Enrique Lima was indicted on February 27, 2020 on multiple federal and local charges related to possessing and transporting a firearm with obliterated serial number. He was also charged with departing a customs facility before being authorized.

According to the indictment and other filed documents, on February 3, 2020, defendant presented himself at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the Red Hook ferry terminal after returning from Tortola. A CBP Officer working the x-ray machine noticed a firearm in the backpack Lima brought with him. Lima immediately fled the facility, leaving his backpack. Law enforcement agents made multiple efforts to locate Lima, and were unable to do so. Lima eventually turned himself in to law enforcement on March 9, 2020.

Following a detention hearing this morning before the Honorable Ruth Miller, Lima was released to the custody of his parents for home confinement pending trial on the charges.

Lima faces a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison.

United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donna Rainwater.

Updated March 20, 2020

Firearms Offenses