Contraband charges dismissed against convicted murderer in Golden Grove


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ST. CROIX - The case against convicted murderer Roberto Smalls, charging him with introducing contraband into Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility almost a year ago has been dismissed in V.I. Superior Court.

Smalls, who is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, had been held up as a model prisoner by V.I. Corrections Bureau officials until he was arrested last September and charged with a single count of introduction of dangerous contraband into the prison.

He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting a trial date in the case when the motion by prosecutors, seeking the dismissal was filed this week in the case.

According to court documents, the V.I. Attorney General's Office determined that in the interest of judicial economy, it would decline to further pursue prosecution in the case in light of the fact that Smalls is incarcerated for the remainder of his natural life.

The charges came in the wake of a search of Smalls' dormitory unit that uncovered prohibited items on May 20, 2013, according to court documents.

Smalls could have been sentenced technically to an additional five years if he is convicted of the contraband charge.

A corrections officer assigned to the Gang Intelligence Unit at the prison said he and other officers conducted random searches inside the prison and about 12:20 a.m. they went to the I-Unit, where Smalls is assigned to a room without a roommate, according to court documents.

During the search, officers removed a shelf that was screwed into the wall over a table in the cell and discovered three different Android smart phones from three different cellular phone service providers. The search also uncovered a credit card case containing two debit cards, a key ring containing three keys and two USB flash drives, officers said.

Smalls has been in prison for the last 20 years and is serving a life sentence without parole plus 10 years in prison for firing shots into the back of a pickup truck and killing one of the occupants in January 1994.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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