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Breaking News / Crime / Featured / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / October 8, 2019

ST. CROIX — During the wee hours of Saturday morning, V.I.P.D. special operations officers executed what was called “Operation Cool Out”, based on the July 2019 shooting at the Cool Out Bar in Peter’s Rest that left multiple individuals injured. The operation resulted in 9 suspects being arrested and five guns confiscated.

An officer was also grazed by a bullet during the operation, with V.I.P.D. telling the Consortium during a press conference Monday that the officer’s headgear saved his life. The publication had previously reported the incident. 

Sonieliz Melendez-Rodriguez
Melanie Adames
Mario Magras
Kaleem Fleming
Jamarie Grigg
Flavel Magras
Erick Acosta
Ana Magras
Renaldo Phibert Jr.

Arrest details

According to V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Glen Dratte, Mario Magras 27, Eric Acosta 22, Kaleem Fleming, 22, and Reynaldo Philbert, 24, discharged firearms and struck an individual in his chest inflicting serious injuries while in the Cool Out Bar at Peters Rest in July.

Arrest warrants were obtained by Criminal Investigation Bureau investigators. Mario Magras turned himself in at the Wilbur Francis Command in Frederiksted, while Eric Acosta and Kaleem Fleming were arrested during Operation Cool Out at their respective homes, Mr. Dratte said.

While executing a warrant at the home of Mario Magras, the occupants opened fire on the announcing officers, grazing one of the officers as a result, Mr. Dratte said. The adult occupants were arrested and charged with first-degree assault and unauthorized possession of a firearm after a firearms license check revealed that the suspects were not authorized to possess any of the two handguns, which police say were fully loaded and were found in the suspects’ dwelling. Arrested were Ana Magras, 26, Melanie Adams, 27, Flavel Magras, 29, and Jamarie Grigg, 28.

A search warrant was also obtained for the Pepper Tree home of Kurt Huggins, 23, who was also at the Cool Out Bar on July 19. Once inside the dwelling, spec ops officers discovered a fully loaded AR 15, found on the side of a bed.

Mr. Huggins along with Sonieliz Melendez Rodriguez, 23, were arrested and charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm after a firearms check revealed that they were not authorized to possess a firearm in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

On Monday at 8:40 p.m., Renaldo Alfredo Philbert Jr, 24, turned himself in at the Wilbur Francis Command. Mr. Philbert was charged with first-degree attempted murder. He was then remanded to the Golden Grove Detention Center pending his advisement hearing after failing to make bail of $200,000.

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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