TORTOLA — A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with possession of an illegal firearm.

Dimar Fredrick, of Fat Hogs Bay, was arrested Monday after he was discovered with the gun and ammunition during a planned operation by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force at a business in the Long Look area.

Police did not name the establishment.

According to spokesperson Diane Drayton, Frederick is facing the following charges: keeping a firearm without a license, unlawful possession of ammunition and common assault.

He is to appear in court at the next available sitting.

According to Drayton, the recovery of the revolver follows a string of firearm seizures in planned police operations. She said that two prohibited, high-powered assault rifles and a quantity of ammunition and cash were confiscated last week at a Harrigan Estate home.

“In this matter, Marcia Jennings, 41, a native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines residing in Harrigan Estate, was formally charged with unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, unlawful possession of ammunition, proceeds of criminal conduct, and possession of controlled drugs,” Drayton said in a prepared statement.

Bail for Jennings was set at $20,000, and a court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2023.

Police Commissioner Mark Collins has previously expressed concerns with what he said was an excessive number of firearms seized in the last year alone, many of those being high-powered weapons.

The weapons, according to Collins, are being brought into the territory “at an alarming rate, not necessarily through legitimate ports of entry but illegal ports and put in the hands of persons who have and will recklessly endanger lives.”

Back in March, Collins announced a two-week firearm and offensive weapon amnesty campaign to reduce the number of firearms on the streets. The amnesty period begun on April 4, and the initiative was backed by then Premier Andrew Fahie, the entire House of Assembly and Gov. John Rankin.

At the end of the two-week period, however, not one weapon was turned in.

“We can only win this battle if we work together. Our safety and our way of life depends on it,” Collins said in a prepared statement.

The commissioner also made another appeal for individuals to come forward and share any information that could stem the tide of firearms entering the territory.

Police urged anyone with information to call the department’s Intelligence Unit directly at 284-368-9339.