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Helicopters Aid Police Saturated Patrols

Helicopter surveillance joined the police’s saturated patrols over the weekend,. St. Croix Deputy Chief Christopher Howell said in a news release Sunday,

Police have instituted saturated patrols throughout the Virgin Islands to curb crime. The patrols target violent crime and drug distribution areas. This weekend two people were arrested on drug charges and one gun was confiscated in a traffic stop on St. Croix.

Saturday evening two helicopters flew a cross-crossing pattern over the island, with a bright green light underneath to go with the flashing red and white navigation lights.

Howell said adding helicopters to the patrols is an effective method to reduce crime and quickly bring perpetrators to justice.

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“Although some members of the public may be disturbed by the loud noise of the helicopter, as a department we must meet force with force. This department must use all tools available to them and we are asking for the understanding of the public,” he said.

Howell said the helicopters can travel from one end of the island to the other in a matter of minutes to respond to criminal situations. They are equipped with technology that allows onboard observers to “clearly observe persons and vehicles on the ground.”

At about 1 a.m. Saturday police arrested 23-year-old Michael Ramos of Estate Mountain, Frederiksted. Saturated patrols stopped Ramos’ vehicle in the vicinity of Estate Castle Coakley after 911 operators received a call of shots fired in the vicinity of Mala Bu Night Club. Patrols converged on the area and stopped the vehicle Ramos was driving and recovered marijuana and an unlicensed firearm.

Ramos was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of an unlicensed firearm. His bail was set at $25,000 and he was remanded to the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.

Also Saturday, police arrested 29-year-old Vernon Huggins of Estate Williams Delight and charged him with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Police confronted Huggins at about 8: 30 p.m. in the vicinity of Estate Plessen Service Station. Police said Huggins had a large amount of marijuana bagged for distribution on his person. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was remanded to the Golden Grove Correctional Facility.

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