Father and son jailed on Christmas Eve in connection with Castle Burke assault

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ST. CROIX - A father and son were arrested Christmas Eve and charged in connection with a first-degree assault on another man last month, and the son also faces multiple weapons and drug charges after a warrant was executed.

Jomahal Sanes, 23, of William's Delight, and Esteban Sanes, 42, of Castle Burke, made their initial court appearances on the charges in V.I. Superior Court on Friday.

Magistrate Miguel Camacho advised both men of their rights after they were arrested and charged with first-degree assault; carrying or using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence; unauthorized possession of a firearm; and reckless endangerment stemming from an incident on Nov. 12.

According to the affidavit in support of the warrant for the men's arrests, police were dispatched to Luis Hospital just before 7 p.m. Nov. 12 to interview a gunshot victim.

The man was unable to talk with police because of the nature of his wounds and the care being given to him. However, two days later, police interviewed the gunshot victim, who said he was visiting a friend in Castle Burke and while walking to the friend's house he saw someone walking toward him on the road.

The victim said he exchanged greetings with the other individual, who then got into a vehicle, which passed him before reversing to where the victim was.

The victim said one of the individuals from the vehicle threatened him and in an unprovoked attack, pulled out a firearm and shot him in the face.

The victim provided police with the nicknames of both individuals in the car, because he knew them from around the area, and was later able to pick them out of a photo array as the two people who shot him, police said.

When police went to execute search and arrest warrants, they said they found a number of guns in the home where Jomahal Sanes was asleep with a 16-year-old sibling.

Police said the officers first checked a bedroom where Jomahal Sanes was and found a .45-caliber pistol; a black .40-caliber pistol loaded with 15 live rounds; a .38-caliber revolver; a clear bag with small vials of marijuana; several digital scales; bags and containers of marijuana seeds; gun magazines; speed-loaders; gun holsters; cellular telephones; a black ski mask; brass knuckles; $190 in cash; a bulletproof vest; and his driver's license and food handlers card all under the mattress.

In the bedroom closet police found another .38 caliber revolver with six live rounds and a speed loader with six live rounds.

In another bedroom, according to the police report, officers found an air gun pellet rifle, and they found a black Ruger 9 mm pistol in the washroom. Outside the front of the residence, police also found 15 pots that contained growing marijuana plants, according to court documents.

Police said that Jomahal Sanes and the 16-year-old both were taken into custody, and during his booking, Jomahal Sanes admitted that he used one of the guns to shoot the man in Castle Burke and that he was holding the other guns for a friend and that the drugs and drug paraphernalia belonged to the friend.

Jomahal Sanes additionally was charged with cultivating marijuana, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of ammunition.

During the hearing Friday, Assistant Public Defender Leslie Davis asked the court to allow each of the men to be released to a third-party custodian on an unsecured bond.

Bail had been set for Esteban Sanes at $100,000, and bail for Jomahal Sanes had been set at $100,000 in the assault case and $25,000 in the subsequent case stemming from the search warrant.

Assistant Attorney General Charlotte Poole-Davis asked the court to increase the bail for the younger Sanes based on the amount of firearms and ammunition and drugs found at the home. She asked that bail be increased to $125,000 on the second case.

Camacho set bail at $100,000 on the initial assault case and increased bail on the warrant case to $150,000. He said Jomahal Sanes would have to post the entire $250,000 in cash of $500,000 in property, find a suitable third-party custodian and then be placed on 24-hour house arrest with an electronic monitoring device.

Unable to meet the bail conditions Friday, both men remain jailed.

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

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