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Two Sentenced in Separate District Court Cases

St. Thomas District Courthouse

Judge Curtis V. Gomez on Thursday sentenced two men in separate cases in U.S. District Court, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

– Stephen Bernier, 53, of St. Croix, was sentenced for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Bernier was sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and perform 300 hours of community service.

On Nov. 3, Bernier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana. According to documents filed in court, between Jan. 10, 2016 and March 8, 2017, Bernier and other co-conspirators possessed and distributed approximately 140 kilograms of marijuana through the United States Postal Service.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations.

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– Cristian Lopez-Moncion, 36, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced for possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, Shappert reported.

Gomez sentenced Lopez-Moncion to 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $100 special assessment.

According to court records, on June 14, Lopez-Moncion pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by an illegal alien. On Aug. 6, 2016, the V.I. Police Department responded to a report of shots fired on Main Street in St. Thomas. The investigation revealed that Lopez-Moncion was in possession of a Glock 9 mm firearm. The firearm was recovered and analyzed.

A forensic examination determined that the firearm had been modified to operate in a fully automatic capacity. Lopez-Moncion is not a legal resident of the United States and is not licensed to possess a firearm in the Virgin Islands.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the VIPD.

Both cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

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