More deadly weapons were removed from the streets of St. Thomas over the weekend as police continued proactive patrols and traffic stops, the V.I. Police Department reported.
Four people, including one minor, were arrested and charged with possession of firearms. Another suspect was charged with possession of controlled substance.
Police officers from the Special Response Team patrolled high crime areas with increased visibility Friday evening into the early morning hours of Saturday. They later conducted traffic infraction checkpoints.
At about 12:30 a.m. Saturday on Raphune Hill, officers stopped a green BMW for traffic violations. An officer noticed one of the three passengers, later identified as 20-year-old Jahani Joseph, had a firearm on his lap and was attempting to cover it with a baseball cap.
Officers seized the weapon and ordered the passengers out of the car. Another passenger, identified as a 17-year-old minor, was acting in a suspicious manner, police said. He was searched and found to be carrying a firearm in the waist of his pants. Police also found two small bags of marijuana in the vehicle.
Police confiscated a loaded Taurus 45. caliber weapon from the minor, a loaded Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver from Jahani Joseph. Both were arrested and charged with possession of unlicensed firearms. Jamal Joseph, 30, the third occupant of the vehicle, was also arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday police stopped a green Chevy Malibu for traffic infractions in the same area. That driver, identified as Dmari Heyliger, was searched by officers and found to be carrying a fully loaded Glock handgun. Heyliger was arrested and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. Police confiscated a second weapon found inside the vehicle and arrested Gerald Lewis, who was a passenger in the car. Lewis was charged with constructive possession of a firearm. Both suspects are 20-years-old.
St. Thomas/St. John Police Chief Darren Foy commended the work of the Special Response officers.
“Our officers remain on heighted alert and are taking all precautions to remain safe as they protect the public from persons carrying illegal weapons," the chief said. "Officers seized four loaded weapons this weekend and four weapons were taken off the streets last week in Contant Knowles. Officers will continue to make traffic stops and persistently patrol our streets. Every weapon taken off the streets prevents further loss of life, injuries and robberies.”
Foy urged the community to continue to call police and report criminal behavior.