For Immediate Release
St. Thomas Man Charged in District Court with Firearm Offenses
St. Thomas, USVI – Michael Lewis, 27, made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in an Indictment with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and the local offenses of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of an unlicensed firearm, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Lewis was detained pending a detention hearing on August 27, 2015.
According to the Indictment which was filed August 6, 2015, in District Court on St. Thomas, Lewis was found in possession of three firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition. Lewis was previously convicted in the Superior Court of two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm and third degree assault with a deadly weapon.
Under federal law if convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, Lewis faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under territorial law, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; and if convicted of possession of an unlicensed firearm, he faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
This case is the result of a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.
United States Attorney Sharpe reminds the public that an Indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.