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ST. THOMAS — Naeem Akil Smith, 24, of St. Thomas, pleaded guilty on August 17, 2016, in federal court on St. Thomas to trafficking 18 firearms in interstate and foreign commerce, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Sentencing is scheduled for December 15, 2016.
According to the plea agreements filed with the court, on August 11, 2016, at the Cyril E. King Airport, a law enforcement K-9 alerted to the presence of firearms inside of luggage checked in Mr. Smith’s name. Customs and Border Patrol officers examined Mr. Smith’s luggage, which revealed one Taurus pistol, 15 Glock pistols, and two AK-47 assault rifles. His luggage also contained two AK-47 magazines, 36 other pistol magazines with capacities ranging from 9 to 15 rounds, 10 speed loaders, twenty .40 caliber Smith and Wesson rounds, and a storage box.
Mr. Smith faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than five years, and a $250,000.00 fine. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing.
This case was a result of Operation Gun Dog formed by law enforcement officials from CBP, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Marshals Service, Transportation Security Administration, Virgin Islands Port Authority and Virgin Islands Police Department to interdict contraband travelling through the Cyril E. King Airport and deter criminal activity during the St. Thomas Carnival. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Delia Smith.
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