Police Commissioner Ray Martinez Targeted in Federal Probe; Phones Seized, Grand Jury Set for June 24

Federal authorities intensify scrutiny as they issue a target letter to Commissioner Ray Martinez, seizing personal communication devices amidst allegations linked to contractual misconduct and improper financial transactions

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • June 15, 2024

V.I. Police Commissioner Ray Martinez. By. THE VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this week delivered a target letter to V.I. Police Department Commissioner Ray Martinez and confiscated the cellphones of Mr. Martinez and his wife, the Consortium can confirm.

A target letter from the FBI is a formal notification issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, typically through a federal prosecutor, indicating that the recipient is under investigation in connection with a federal crime. This letter not only informs the individual that they are a "target" of the investigation but also may detail the nature of the investigation and specify the criminal activities the person is allegedly linked to. Essentially, it signifies substantial evidence implicating the recipient in illegal activities, prompting them to consider legal representation.

A grand jury is scheduled for June 24th, the Consortium has learned, at which Commissioner Martinez will be present with his legal team to defend against the federal charges.

The matter is related to a St. Thomas-based firm that was contracted by the V.I. Police Department. After receiving the contract from the VIPD, signed by the police commissioner, the firm provided Mr. Martinez with funds to complete work on a restaurant project he has been working on for quite some time, according to people with intimate knowledge of the matter.

The commissioner, speaking to the Consortium Saturday afternoon, confirmed that he was indeed served a target letter by the FBI. He declined to comment further.

At least one other individual is said to be implicated in the matter, and this individual's phone was also confiscated, the Consortium has learned.

This development comes on the heels of the federal government's actions against V.I. Department of Education Director of Maintenance Davidson Charlemagne, and former V.I. Housing Finance Authority Chief Operating Officer Darin Richardson — two high-ranking government officials — who were arrested after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging them with government program fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. Mr. Charlemagne's wife, Sasha, was also arrested and charged in the alleged scheme.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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