p>Curtis Winston Venner, 34, of St. Croix was arrested Wednesday on a series of firearm charges, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Venner appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon in District Court.
Cannon ordered Venner detained pending a hearing scheduled for Monday on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, unauthorized possession of a firearm and unauthorized possession of ammunition.
According to the complaint, Venner was the driver and sole occupant of a vehicle that police stopped July 12 on Rattan Road. Police said that inside the vehicle, next to Venner on the floor of the front passenger seat, they found a bag containing a Cobray, model M 12, .380 caliber handgun and a magazine containing 17 bullets.
If convicted of possessing a firearm and/or ammunition by a convicted felon, Venner faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for each count. If convicted of unauthorized possession of a firearm, Venner faces a mandatory minimum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum of five years. If convicted of unauthorized possession of ammunition, Venner faces a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.
The complaint is the result of investigative work conducted by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rami. S. Badawy.