Michael Boyce, 28, pleaded guilty Friday in District Court on St. Croix to one count of possession of prison contraband, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced Monday.
In his news release, Sharpe said that as part of his plea, Boyce admitted that on April 4, 2013, while he was an inmate at the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility on St. Croix, he possessed a shank and a cell phone that were hidden inside his mattress.
Cellular telephones are prohibited contraband in correctional facilities because they are known to be used by prisoners to intimidate witnesses, orchestrate narcotics transactions and to facilitate other criminal activity, including murders, Sharpe said.
Boyce, of St. Croix, is facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. No sentencing date has been set.
The case was investigated by the V.I. Bureau of Corrections and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.