Three St. Thomas men are facing weapons and ammunition charges following separate traffic stops, the V.I. Police Department reported Wednesday.
The patrol efforts are part of “Operation Overwatch” that started Friday, said St. Thomas District Chief Steven Phillips in a press release announcing the arrests. The initiative is aimed at taking more guns off the street — including two firearms recovered over the weekend — with the VIPD taking the lead among other law enforcement agencies, he said.
The most recent arrest came during a traffic stop on Monday about 12:20 a.m. when officers observed that the front windshield of a Toyota Corolla driven by De’Shawn Williams, 26, was heavily tinted, according to the release. Officers reported that they also detected an odor of marijuana coming from the car, the VIPD said.
During a search of the vehicle, officers recovered an unlicensed firearm with an obliterated serial number under the driver’s seat, the release stated. Williams was charged with constructive possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, and obliterated serial number, it said.
Williams was transported to the Richard Callwood Command where he was booked, processed, and remanded to the V.I. Bureau of Corrections pending his advice of rights hearing. Bail was set at $50,000.
During a traffic stop at 1:45 a.m. on Sunday, officers arrested K’Mahri K. Hughes, 18, on a charge of illegal ammunition, the VIPD said.
According to the report, officers were patrolling the area of Gasverks Gade near the GERS building when the driver of a blue Honda Fit almost collided with a marked police vehicle. As they approached the scene, officers reported that they smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle.
Hughes and two minor occupants were asked to get out of the car while officers searched the vehicle, which resulted in recovered ammunition, according to the report. Hughes was transported to the Richard Callwood Command where he was booked, processed, and remanded to the V.I. Bureau of Corrections. Bail was set at $50,000.
The two minors were released to the custody of their parents pending their advice of rights hearings, the VIPD said.
On Saturday about 5:52 p.m., officers stopped a black Honda Civic with heavily tinted windows traveling east on Veterans Drive, near the Windward Passage Hotel. When the driver opened his door, officers detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle, according to the release.
The driver, Kirk Thomas, 38, was asked to step out of the vehicle and officers observed that his legs and hands were shaking and that there was a bulge in the front of his waistband, the release stated.
Thomas allegedly admitted to officers that he was in possession of a firearm that he was not licensed to carry — an unlicensed Smith and Wesson M&P .45 caliber handgun — police said.
Thomas was transported to the Richard Callwood Command and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Bail was set at $50,000 and he was booked, processed, and remanded to the V.I. Bureau of Corrections pending his advice of rights hearing.