No announcement yet.

USVI deaths Americans face crime violence amid rising concerns over US territory

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • USVI deaths Americans face crime violence amid rising concerns over US territory

    If you've ever interacted with their PD, they ain't that motivated. Some are very good-most not. Many hate most Americans. Go figure. That said, many a good Cop have come from the USVI and still are in NYC and elsewhere. Th local prosecutors are the shittes, with very few good ones. Grand Juries and juries are a crap shoot. Much animosity due to the wealthy of all stripes by the jealous. St. Croix is a shittewhole. St. Thomas not far behind. St. John, mostly a nature sanctuary and uber wealthy island. Since the refinery on St. Croix closed and the drugs make their way in, al lot from Cuba, it has been all down hill for all three islands. The BVI suffer the same problems.

    Virgin Islands deaths: Americans face crime, violence amid rising concerns over US territory's policing
    Police opened a criminal investigation into the death of former US swimming champ Jamie Cail

    By Michael Ruiz | Fox News

    US Virgin Islands files lawsuit against Epstein estate for trafficking underage girls
    Prosecutors in the U.S. Virgin Islands say Jeffrey Epstein trafficked dozens of women and girls to his private island, kept them captive and abused them; Bryan Llenas has the details.
    The U.S. Virgin Islands can be a dangerous place – and although they are technically a U.S. territory, American families have struggled to obtain justice there when their loved ones have fallen victim to violent crime.
    The motto, "No passport required for U.S. citizens," is watermarked in the corner of the islands' tourism website, which boasts of world-class waters, idyllic beaches, "outdoor adventures" and a rich heritage and culture.
    However, there is a dark side of paradise. The most recent United Nations data on the islands' homicide rate from 2012 shows 49.28 per 100,000 residents. The islands have routinely failed to fully report homicide data to the FBI going back years, records show.
    For comparison the rate in Chicago in 2021 was estimated to be 29.8 per 100,000, based on city crime stats and data from the Census Bureau. Antigua and Barbuda, another nation of Caribbean islands to the east, had a homicide rate of 9 in 2020, according to the U.N. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the rate in the mainland U.S. was 7.8 in 2020.

    Jamie Cail performs during the Phillips 66 National Championship at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tennessee on Aug. 1, 1997. Inset left: Her boyfriend Kamal Thomas in a 2007 booking photo after he was charged in the stabbing death of Pennsylvania man Jamie Cockayne, 21, inset right. (Getty Images)
    The trend is apparently nothing new. United Press International reported in 1981 that eight American travel writers invited to write about the tropical paradise were mugged in front of the legislative building on St. Thomas when their bus got stuck in traffic.
    Even then, the U.S. Virgin Islands were seeing more murders and rapes than other Caribbean islands and the mainland United States, UPI reported.
    Once a murder has been committed, families are often left to investigate it themselves – with police allegedly lax in how they approach basic investigatory practices, according to numerous people who have described the process to Fox News Digital.

    Former swimming champ Jamie Cail was found unresponsive by her boyfriend on the island of St. John, according to Virgin Islands Police. Authorities have opened a criminal investigation into her death but have not named a suspect publicly or released many updates three weeks later. (Facebook/Jamie Cail)
    Discussions have been cropping up in island Facebook groups regarding oversight of the island's police force – which in the past has been accused of failing to properly investigate cases. A former police commissioner wrote an op-ed appealing to witnesses to come forward with evidence of crimes. Numerous island residents have told Fox News Digital they are afraid to speak out on the record due to serious concerns about their safety.

    Sarm Heslop steers a sailboat in a July 2020 photo posted to her Instagram account. The U.K. native has been missing since March 8, 2021, after she was last seen leaving a bar on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Sarm Heslop/Instagram)
    In 2021, when the British flight attendant Sarm Heslop was reported missing from her boyfriend's 47-foot yacht, police failed to obtain a search warrant for the vessel. Months later, they told Fox News Digital that a court had denied their requests for one – despite the boyfriend's prior domestic violence conviction and that he told them that's where she had last been seen.
    The boyfriend, Ryan Bane, then hired the same lawyer as Jeffrey Epstein's former confidante, Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein, a convicted sex trafficker who died in a federal jail in 2019, infamously maintained a private island in the territory.

    Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in undated evidence photo. Epstein owned a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, derided by locals as "Pedophile Island." (Justice Department)
    One U.S. tech executive, who told Fox News Digital his firm does contract work for the Virgin Islands Police Department, said the department has "a few good detectives" running against a "lack of commitment."
    "They are absolutely making critical mistakes, avoiding easy to complete investigative tasks, avoiding investigative techniques that are time-consuming or hard, etc.," he said Thursday.
    In 2005, a Connecticut native named David Geiger and his then-14-year-old son were attacked by Renell Lettsome in another home invasion robbery, court records show. Lettsome beat them both with a pipe, stabbed the father to death and lit the house on fire.
    Prosecutors relocated Lettsome's girlfriend, who worked for Geiger, to Florida in exchange for a witness statement and to assuage her safety concerns, according to court documents.
    By then, Lettsome had escaped to the nearby British Virgin Islands, where he surrendered to local authorities a month later. He told them he could not sleep or eat and confessed to the murder.
    However, after his conviction, he did not receive the maximum possible sentence of life in prison because the girlfriend had been relocated outside the Virgin Islands' range of subpoena power, according to the St. John Tradewinds newspaper.
    "More than one person has died down there in the last few years, and the police force always says it's under investigation," said Dr. Robert Oldham, whose friend Ed Netherland, a Nashville insurance executive, was beaten to death in a waterfront home invasion robbery in 2014. "But it doesn't look to be like it's much investigation."

    Ed Netherland, a Tennessee insurance entrepreneur, was 60 years old in 2014 when someone broke into the waterfront home where he was staying on St. Thomas and beat him to death. (Ed Netherland/Facebook)
    Netherland's family did not pursue a private investigation as other victims' families have done, Oldham said, and the murder remains unsolved.
    The family of Jamie Cockayne, the 21-year-old Pennsylvania man stabbed and beaten to death on St. John after a bar fight in 2007, spent tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket on private investigators and lawyers to bring the suspects to justice.

    Mekel Blash pleaded guilty in 2019 to the 2014 murder of New Jersey resident Jimmy Malfetti during a home invasion robbery. (Virgin Islands Police Department)
    Even then, they did half of their sentences, made parole and got in more trouble. One, Jahlil Ward, was shot and killed in a drive-by shortly after his release. Years earlier, Ward had been shot in another incident involving Mekel Blash – who himself would be convicted in 2019 of stabbing New Jersey native Jimmy Malfetti to death in a home invasion robbery five years earlier.

    A view of Little St. James Island, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, a property owned by Jeffrey Epstein. (AP)
    Like Cockayne's family, Malfetti's hired private investigators and covered travel costs until Blash finally took a plea deal, admitting to second-degree murder as prosecutors dropped nine other charges.
    Another man convicted in Cockayne's death, Georgia native Kamal "Six Pack" Thomas, got out of prison and went on to date former U.S. swim champ Jamie Cail, according to numerous sources on the islands and in the U.S. The 42-year-old was originally from New Hampshire and died in late February.

    Kamal "Six Pack" Thomas shown in a 2007 booking photo after his arrest in connection with the beating death of 21-year-old Jamie Cockayne. First-degree murder charges were dismissed, and Thomas was ultimately convicted of assault and weapons charges, court records show. Authorities at the Florida prison where he served part of his sentence and in the U.S. Virgin Islands have not responded to repeated requests for a more recent mug shot. (Virgin Islands Police Department)
    Island police and prosecutors have declined to reveal her cause and manner of death and have not publicly identified Thomas as the man who found her. Without naming him, they said Cail's boyfriend told them he came home from a bar on Feb. 21, found her dead and drove her to a clinic where medical staff could not revive her.
    Police announced a criminal investigation into the matter but have released few updates. Investigators are asking anyone with information on the case to contact detectives, call 911 or reach out to Crime Stoppers V.I. at 1 (800) 222-TIPS.
    Cail's death came right before the American college spring break season, a lucrative time of year for the islands, in a territory that relies heavily on tourism and aid from the mainland. So did the slaying of Kathryn Almony, a 57-year-old St. Croix woman who police say was killed by her boyfriend last week.

    Randall Yates, a 66-year-old from St. Croix, is charged with first-degree murder of his girlfriend Kathryn Almony, who was found dead last week. (Virgin Islands Police Department)
    On Thursday, the VIPD announced a first-degree murder charge against a 66-year-old St. Croix resident named Randall Yates, who police say told 911 he found Almony unconscious in the bathroom last week.
    The USVI tourism commissioner, Robert Boschulte, did not respond to multiple calls or emails in the wake of Cail's death.
    Finally, someone from his office told Fox News Digital that, "At this time, we are not able to comment on an ongoing investigation."
    "What is the benefit that U.S. citizens receive from sending millions of dollars to the U.S. Virgin Islands?" Jeanie Cockayne, Jamie Cockayne's mother, recently pondered. "They're just like a baby that’s never been weaned. They do nothing for the United States."

    Jeffrey Epstein's former home on the island of Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
    According to, the U.S. Virgin Islands received $1.4 billion from the federal government last year. That is more than a quarter of the territory's GDP, which is around $4.2 billion, according to the World Bank.
    While the embattled Virgin Islands Police Department has jurisdiction over local offenses, the FBI urges anyone who believes they are a witness or victim to a federal crime to call them directly at 1-800-CALL-FBI or to call the local field office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
    Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard says anyone who needs help in U.S. waters should reach out over VHF radio on channel 16 with their GPS location and the nature of their emergency.
    Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @mikerreports​

  • #2
    Federal Agent Faces Murder Charge in Virgin Islands Shooting



    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico | U.S. federal agent William Clark came to the Virgin Islands to fight crime in 2008, but he ended up charged with murder in a case pitting mainland law enforcers against their counterparts in the Caribbean territory.

    No one disputes that on the morning of Sept. 7 that year, Clark intervened in a couple's drunken fight outside his apartment and shot a man to death.

    Clark's supporters, including members of Congress, call it self-defense, contending the victim was trying to hit the agent with a heavy flashlight. They suggest the prosecution of the agent from Rochester, N.Y., is revenge for the U.S. government's corruption investigations targeting island officials.
    Critics of the prosecution note that the officers who arrested Clark were later found guilty in an unrelated extortion and bribery case.

    The trial, set to begin Monday and feature high-profile witnesses such as the territory's governor, has led to demonstrations in the U.S. and threats to boycott trips to islands popular with honeymooners.
    Whatever the outcome, the trial is expected to further strain relations between local police and federal agencies that remain in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which saw a record number of killings last year and a spike in violent crime.

    Clark works for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the agency withdrew its agents shortly after the shooting. He returned to the Virgin Islands for the trial and appeared at a hearing Friday.

    Prosecutors have declined requests for comment, but territorial Attorney General Vincent Frazer issued a statement to denounce what he called claims of unfair prosecution.

    "No one is above the law," he said. "The decision to proceed with the prosecution of William Clark was a legal decision based on the facts and a thorough investigation."
    He said Clark had no authority to enforce local laws, including those covering domestic violence.

    Dwane Callwood, a court deputy marshal, said islanders are not resentful of the presence of federal agents, but rather of how they apparently protected Clark, especially under the watch of a police chief who also was an ATF agent.

    "From the very beginning, there's been this perception that he was being treated differently because he was a federal agent," Callwood said, adding that he was not speaking as a government employee.

    Judging by letters to newspapers and interviews with islanders, many people also are angry over the U.S. Justice Department's order last year making changes within the Virgin Islands police department after complaints of excessive use of force.

    A local newspaper, the St. Thomas Source, reported that it obtained a letter written last year to the Virgin Islands attorney general in which U.S. Attorney Paul Murphy said he had talked with federal agents and a local police officer about Clark's case.
    "They believe the prosecution of Agent Clark is 'payback' for an earlier ATF prosecution of a VIPD officer," Murphy is quoted as writing.


    Clark, 35, who is now working as an agent in upstate New York, joined the ATF in 2001 and was assigned to the U.S. Virgin Islands in January 2008.

    He moved into a first-floor apartment at Mahogany Run, a quiet housing complex in St. Thomas with an ocean view. Above him lived Marcus Sukow, 44, and his girlfriend, Marguerite Duncan, a couple who police say had a history of domestic violence.

    According to court records:

    About 8 a.m. Sept. 7, 2008, a Sunday, the couple left to have breakfast at a nearby Irish pub. When they returned, they began arguing and Duncan asked Clark for help.

    Sukow was standing outside, naked, threatening to blow Duncan's head off with a gun he said was in the apartment. He later retrieved a large and heavy flashlight as Duncan got into Clark's car.
    Some witnesses said Sukow lunged at Clark with the flashlight after hitting his car with it, while others said Sukow was standing still with his hands at his sides when he was shot.

    Clark shot Sukow four times in the chest and once in the back. He then gave him first aid until help arrived.

    Exactly four months later, Clark was charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.


    Defense attorney Mark Schamel said Clark's actions were justified because he was being attacked by Sukow.

    "This prosecution is motivated by things other than the facts of the case," Schamel said, declining to elaborate.

    An internal ATF investigation concluded the shooting was justified, and several congressmen have called Clark a hero for intervening in a domestic dispute.
    In July, U.S. Rep. Chris Lee of New York sent the U.S. Virgin Islands government a letter about the case in which he also reminded them of the federal help that has been sent to deal with disasters and rising crime in the island.

    The Clark case has been delayed by several motions and changes in the prosecutorial team. On Thursday, the judge - Brenda Hollar - recused herself after defense attorneys complained of bias.

    Retired NYPD Detective. Retired Police Officer in a small Township in PA.


    • #3
      Do they tax pensions down there?


      • #4
        LEOSA (HR218) is in effect there, as in all US Possessions..
        Click image for larger version

Name:	LEOSA Virgin Islands.jpg
Views:	135
Size:	447.7 KB
ID:	154955


        • #5
          Pizza and bagels? Any info?


          • #6
            What about St. Barts? Paul McCartney hangs out there often with other A-listers.

            I would never raise my voice because it’s frightening to people. Instead, I would calmly state "my name is Kenda from the Police Department; you are under arrest for murder. If you don’t do what I say, I’m gonna kill you right here, right now!" - Lt. Joe Kenda - Homicide Hunter


            • #7
              I hear Epstein island is available .

              I enjoyed St Thomas in the 90s. Rented a pvt villa on Mahagony Run, and I always wanted to go back.

              The view from where we stayed.
              “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”​
              George Orwell


              • #8
                This is still going on from 2008?

                I very surprised this was never moved to a federal court and dismissed??
                Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless it's a military clock. The above post was not approved or corrected for grammar and syntax, or checked for spelling by the forums administrators.


                • #9
                  A Virgin Islands jury has found a veteran ATF special agent not guilty of using excessive force in interveneing in a domestic argument.
                  Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless it's a military clock. The above post was not approved or corrected for grammar and syntax, or checked for spelling by the forums administrators.