Men charged in armed jewelry store robbery face new weapons charges

Font size: [A] [A] [A]

ST. THOMAS - Four defendants in an armed robbery case that was transferred to the U.S. District Court in April are again facing new charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office delivered a new indictment containing weapons charges against Shaquim Fredericks, 19; Warkim Gabriel, 18; Chefton Newton, 25; and Alvin Thomas, 18, all of whom still are incarcerated.

The four defendants pleaded not guilty, again, to the charges filed June 12.

Fredericks, Gabriel, Newton and Thomas first were advised of their rights in March when the V.I. government pressed local charges, which included first-degree robbery; unauthorized possession of a firearm; aiding and abetting; possession of stolen property; first-degree assault; and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

The local charges followed the men's arrest March 22, after they were accused of robbing Imperial Jewelry store on Main Street on St. Thomas the same day.

In April, the federal government delivered the charge of violating the Hobbs Act. The Hobbs Act involves the delay or obstruction of commerce or the movement of a commodity by robbery and typically is applied to bank robberies.

Now, in the third time that new charges have surfaced, the federal government is charging the defendants with possession of firearms in the furtherance of a violent crime; conspiracy to possess firearms in the furtherance of a violent crime; and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Attorneys asked about the status of the previous cases filed relating to the same allegations, but District Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller said that the dismissal of those cases was not in her power and would have to be dealt with by a District Court judge.

Miller and District Judge Curtis Gomez both have chastised the U.S. Attorney's Office previously for the recurring filing of new charges in the case.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.

Best of the VI

Best of the VI: After more than 100,000 text and Facebook votes were cast, it is time to unveil the winners.

Daily News E-Edition

Try our e-newspaper delivered to you every day

Island Trader

Good stuff, best buys, great fun

Crucian Trader

Celebrating St. Croix History, Culture and People

Island Action

Your complete guide to where to go and what to do this week in the Virgin Islands.