June 30, 2006 – A controversial St. Thomas prison guard charged with illegally importing weapons into the British Virgin Islands has been granted bail, an official said.
Steven Lewis Sr., 46, was arrested June 23 after Customs officers on Tortola found a loaded Glock handgun and 10 shotgun shells in his luggage at the West End ferry terminal, said Customs and Immigration spokesman Wade Smith.
Lewis, the former acting chief of corrections on St. Thomas, had not declared the weapon or ammunition on his customs forms, Smith said.
He was charged with unlawfully importing and possessing explosives, failing to declare explosives and a firearm to customs, and carrying an unlicensed firearm.
Lewis, who had been held by police since his arrest, was granted $8,000 bail and allowed to return to St. Thomas, said Jefferson Knight, a BVI prosecutor.
He could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison if convicted.
Attorney General Kerry Drue said Thursday that Lewis has been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation into the BVI arrest.
Drue said Lewis was the subject of two other recent investigations, one for allegedly starting a fight with another guard and another after his service pistol was allegedly stolen in late December.
She said the gun confiscated on Tortola was his personal handgun and not the missing service weapon.
The results of both investigations have not been released, she said.
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