Ritter Sentenced for Firearm Charge

Dale Ritter, 53, of St. Croix, was sentenced Thursday in District Count on one federal count of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number, and one local count of illegal use of utility equipment, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

Chief Judge Wilma A. Lewis sentenced Ritter to a prison sentence of 12 months and one day, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and imposed a $100 special assessment on the possession count. Additionally, Ritter was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine on the illegal use of utility equipment count.

Ritter had pled guilty to the charges on March 23.

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According to court documents, on July 21, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Ritter’s residence in Frederiksted. During the execution of this search warrant, DEA agents located a Taurus Millennium 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number. This firearm was determined to be operable and had been shipped in interstate commerce.

Additionally, agents located unauthorized electric wires running from a pole owned by WAPA that provided electricity to Ritter’s residence and a marijuana grow room.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Task Force Officers with the V.I. Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston.

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