A federal grand jury returned a seven count indictment against Paul Girard, 30, Shaquan Prentice, 33, and Etherneal Simon, 48, charging Girard and Prentice with two robberies, conspiracy, and related gun charges, and Girard and Simon with money laundering.
The charges stem from two 2015 St. Thomas robberies: Signature Jewelers on August 19, 2015, and 3G’s Jewelry and Repair on September 14, 2015. According to the indictment, Girard, Prentice, and other co-conspirators conspired to rob the stores and brandished weapons to threaten and intimidate store employees. The robbers used duct tape to bind and gag the victims and then fled the store with cash and merchandise. According to the indictment, Simon assisted Girard to launder money obtained from these robberies.
If convicted, the three individuals face up to 20 years on each of the Hobbs Act robbery and money laundering; a mandatory seven- and 25-year consecutive sentences for each brandishing of a firearm charge; and a $250,000 fine.
They were arraigned Oct. 2. Trial is scheduled for Nov. 9.
Girard and Prentice have been in prison before. Girard served time for a 2008 gun violation. He was arrested again and charged and convicted with another gun violation after being apprehended near the scene of a homicide. Police said he was “disheveled, muddy and had what appeared to be blood on his clothes” and had an unlicensed firearm on him.
News reports indicate Prentice was being detained awaiting trial for another charge in 2014.
V.I. Superior Court online records are limited and neither the nature of the charges nor the result could be readily determined. The news reports detail a situation where both inmates and officers received injuries. Inmates alleged a pre-dawn raid and beatings. Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility officials said there was a riot where Prentice got the keys of a guard and let inmates out of their cells. (See Related Links, below.)