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HomeNewsArchivesSentencing Finally Set for Edwards, Brooks, and John-Baptiste

Sentencing Finally Set for Edwards, Brooks, and John-Baptiste

More than a year after their conviction on public corruption charges, sentencing has been scheduled for April 5, for three former Virgin Islands law enforcement officers.

Enid Edwards and Francis Brooks, both former long-time police officers, and Bill John-Baptiste, a former Port Authority officer, each face up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, according to a news release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at the time of their convictions in January of 2011.

Sentencing had been delayed by a series of defense motions challenging the identity of a prosecution witness and the court’s handling of the question of his identity. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Curtis Gomez refused a defense request that he recuse himself from the case and has now scheduled sentencing.

The former officers have been under house arrest since their convictions.

The high-profile case was the result of an investigation by a federal task force comprised of agents of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, along with the V.I. Police Department.

The convictions pertain to activities occurring between 2000 and 2005. “Edwards and Brooks were convicted of running a criminal enterprise under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), whose members and associates, which included John-Baptiste, conspired to conduct or participate in the enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, namely, extortion, bribery, kidnapping, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, as well as kidnapping and extortion related crimes under the Virgin Islands Code,” according the DEA.

Brooks and Edwards also “made numerous contacts” with drug traffickers, requiring cash payments in exchange for immunity from arrest. In one instance, John-Baptiste arrested a person who was later released after a payment had been made to Edwards and Brooks. The former police officers were also convicted of selling a V.I. driver’s license for $900.

Originally indicted on 33 counts in the spring of 2010, the officers were convicted of 24 counts.

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