85 F
Cruz Bay
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsSecond Gun Runner Suspect in VIPD Custody

Second Gun Runner Suspect in VIPD Custody

Two men allegedly tried to send guns from Florida through Cyril E. King Airport in a checked bag. (Source photo by Mat Probasco)

A man suspected of arranging illegal firearm imports from Florida to St. Thomas was taken into Virgin Islands Police Department custody after extradition from the mainland, according to court records filed Monday.

Feliciano Comandante Olivieri, 30, was arrested in Orlando, Florida, on suspicion of sending two disassembled handguns to an alleged partner on St. Thomas in March 2023. Police arrested Jakel Jamal Bell, also 30, as he allegedly attempted to leave Cyril E. King Airport with the bag of guns.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection had noticed the bag and warned local officials. Police watched Bell, who had not flown that day, chat on his phone while the checked luggage arrived. They said he picked it up and walked past the area designated for declaring firearms without stopping.

An investigation at the airport revealed the baggage claim ticket to be under the name Christopher Wise. A search warrant for Bell’s phone revealed messages with Olivieri, under the name Gun Dawg, in Florida. Olivieri allegedly advised Bell the bag would be marked as belonging to Christopher Wise.

How the bag got onto the plane was not clear.

Bell was charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, failing to report a firearm, importing a firearm without a license, and aiding and abetting to do the same, and conspiracy.

Olivieri was charged with selling firearms without a license and conspiracy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.