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HomeNewsArchivesBust of St. John Businesses Exposes Illegal Immigrants, Crack Cocaine

Bust of St. John Businesses Exposes Illegal Immigrants, Crack Cocaine

Dec. 5, 2007 — Operation Love City, an effort by multiple law-enforcement agencies, hit two Cruz Bay businesses recently and clamped down on illegal activity, said St. John Administrator Leona Smith on Wednesday.
The businesses targeted were Cap's Place, a bar in the heart of Cruz Bay, and Nature's Nook, a fruit-and-vegetable stand less than a block away from the bar, said Monyka Johnigan, spokesperson for the V.I. Police Department.
In action Friday, 14 illegal immigrants were found at Cap's Place, Johnigan said. Eleven bags of crack cocaine were also discovered, but Johnigan said it wasn’t clear whether the illegal immigrants and the crack cocaine were at the same location. The bags were discovered behind a video lottery machine.
The illegal immigrants were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"It was a successful and necessary operation with the aim of making St. John a more safe and prosperous place to live," said Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy, according to a police department news release.
Operation Love City was the result of numerous complaints about violations at the businesses to Smith's office, the administrator said. The operation will be ongoing, with unannounced visits by teams from various government agencies.
In addition to police activities, the V.I. Fire Service issued citations to business for fire-code violations. The Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department gave citations to the businesses, as well as a clothing vendor operating in the area without proper licensing.
Citations were also issued by the Health Department. V.I. Lottery officers confiscated tickets for the Puerto Rico Lottery, because sale and distribution of these tickets is illegal in the territory.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. called Operation Love City a success.
"The success of such law-enforcement initiatives is based on careful planning and coordination between agencies of both the territorial and federal governments," the governor said in a news release. He credited Smith with organizing the crackdown.
The governor also urged residents with information about crimes to call law-enforcement agencies.
"Each one of us who calls these islands home surely knows at least one law-enforcement official who we can turn to with information that could lead to the solving of an outstanding crime," deJongh said. "It is only together as one community that our battle against the criminal element can be successful."
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