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Joint Crime Fighting Initiative Leads to Arrest, Weapon and Drug Seizure

September 06, 2019

ST. THOMAS – On Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at approximately 10:00 a.m., Virgin Islands Police Department’s Special Operations Bureau, Homeland Security Investigations, and the US Marshals Office executed a crime fighting initiative in the vicinity of building 21 & 22 at the Tutu High Rise Housing community on St. Thomas. This initiative led to the arrest of Nesta Thomas, 37, the seizure of a model Glock 23, .40 caliber handgun with two extended magazines with ammunition and 20 cultivated marijuana pots.

Nesta Thomas

The Virgin Islands Housing Authority requested assistance from VIPD about trespassing and suspicious activities that were plaguing the community that was vacated, shuttered and scheduled for demolition. St. Thomas/St. John Acting Deputy Police Chief David Cannonier was alerted of the concerns about illegal activity in the area and initiated the joint operations response. As officers arrived on the scene, they encountered Thomas trespassing on the property.

Further investigation led officers to discover that Thomas had occupied an apartment on the property where they seized a weapon, extended magazines with ammunition and the pots of marijuana. In addition, Thomas had an adult dog and two pups on the property. Deputy Police Commissioner Dr. Celvin Walwyn expressed the department’s commitment to ridding the community of the criminal element. “VIPD will be more visible in conducting more of these spontaneous operations across the territory,” Walwyn said.

Special Operations, Detective Richard Valazquez, expressed his optimism about the joint operation. “I want to sincerely thank our federal partners,” Valazquez said. “When we work together, we can effectively address and combat criminal activity throughout the territory.

Thomas was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm within 1000ft. of a School, possession of a firearm within 1000ft. of a Housing Community and possession of Ammunition. The VIPD is asking the community to report any and all suspicious activities to 911 or call Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 222 TIPS (8477). When you call Crime Stoppers your identity remains anonymous.

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