A St. Thomas man was arrested after police say they saw a gun magazine bulging from his pants.
Sherquan Merrifield was arrested Sunday and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition. Unable to post $50,000 bail, he was jailed until his advice-of-rights hearing Monday.
Around 12:45 a.m., police in Havensight spotted a large group of men smoking marijuana, according to a probable cause fact sheet.
Officers warned the men about smoking marijuana and the crowd began to put out and hide the marijuana cigarettes, according to the fact sheet.
Several men wearing large jackets “started acting out of the normal by easing away from the area,” and an officer noticed what appeared to be a gun magazine in a back pocket.
According to the affidavit, the officer conferred with another cop who agreed the man, later identified as Merrifield, “had clearly what resembled a gun magazine bulging out of his back left pocket.”
Merrifield first agreed to speak with police and admitted he does not have a firearm license. He then turned to run, but was detained.
Officers found a loaded black Glock 19 pistol in his pocket, and another 15-round, fully loaded magazine in his back pocket, according to the fact sheet.
At the advice-of-rights hearing, Territorial Public Defender Kele Onyejekwe argued that police did not have probable cause to conduct a search because they did not know whether Merrifield was licensed to carry a weapon at the time they approached him.
“He voluntarily agreed to speak with the officers,” countered Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales.
Magistrate Judge Paula Norkaitis found probable cause for the arrest, and set bail at $10,000. She said Merrifield may post 10% of that in cash.