Customs finds guns in mail at Charlotte Amalie Post Office


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St. Thomas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a number of pistols stuffed in a package that arrived at the Charlotte Amalie Post Office.

The officers were checking out packages June 13 as part of a routine inspection when an X-ray scan showed three pistols concealed inside a DVD home theater sent via express mail, according to a statement by the Customs and Border Protection's San Juan, Puerto Rico office released Thursday.

No arrests have been made in connection with the discovery, said Brenda Padial, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. The finding still is under investigation, she said.

Three pistol slides were slipped into the DVD system, and three pistol lower frames were in the speaker unit, according to the statement.

The pistols were assembled and inventoried as a Glock 19 9 mm, a Ruger P-89 9 mm, and a Taurus PT-940 .40-caliber Smith & Wesson. The pistols were seized and transferred to Homeland Security Investigations.

Recently, a similar seizure of weapons occurred at the San Juan International Mail Branch when a parcel headed for St. Thomas, sent from Daltona, Fla., was intercepted.

In that case, Customs and Border Protection officers detected and seized a Glock .40-caliber pistol and three magazines concealed within the parcel.

In the last two months, CBP officers have intercepted at least 13 different attempts to ship contraband through the mail, including more than 62 pounds of marijuana and 227 grams of hashish.

The seized contraband was hidden in several items, including school binders; record players; air compressors; peanut butter jars; coffee cans; stuffed animals; air purifiers; plastic Easter eggs; and even a Mother's Day gift.

In addition to the seized items found by Customs and Border Protection in the USVI, Customs and Border Protection officers working at the San Juan International Mail Branch are also watchful to stop illegal contraband from reaching the Virgin Islands.

The mail branch has found contraband headed to the territory hidden in sheet sets; speaker boxes; candles; DVD players; baby blankets; and a submersible camera.

Seized items have included marijuana, cocaine and weapons.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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