A Bureau of Corrections officer trainee at the Criminal Justice Complex on St. Thomas noticed an incoming inmate’s toiletries “looked suspiciously plump,” and discovered drugs hidden inside, according to an affidavit filed by the V.I. Police Department.
Hyram Graneau, 32, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of introducing contraband into prison. He was returned to the Bureau of Corrections where he appeared in court via video conference Wednesday before Magistrate Judge Carolyn Hermon-Percell.
Graneau was sentenced on Oct. 12 on various charges, including possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition, and unauthorized use of a vehicle, but didn’t surrender himself on Friday as ordered, resulting in a warrant for his arrest, Hermon-Percell said.
According to V.I. Police, Graneau was booked later that day after the correctional officer trainee noticed that a bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion belonging to Graneau “looked suspiciously plump rather than normal size.”
The police lieutenant who wrote the affidavit said as he squeezed the lotion into a cup, something blocked the nozzle. After cutting open the bottle, police found 0.4 ounces of marijuana wrapped in clear plastic.
Police then inspected a stick of deodorant and found three small bags of marijuana and a bag of tobacco hidden inside, according to the affidavit. They continued searching Graneau’s property and found another 0.7 ounces of marijuana in a different lotion bottle.
At his advice-of-rights hearing Wednesday, Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales said Graneau was arrested twice before in the Virgin Islands on firearm-related charges in 2008 and 2009, and was charged with serious crimes of violence in Florida in 2010.
He was arrested in the Virgin Islands again in 2019 for the latest case that resulted in his incarceration, Scales said.
Territorial Public Defender Alexia Furlow said Graneau has three children “and one on the way,” and has lived in the territory for most of his life.
Hermon-Percell said that given the circumstances, Graneau may flee prosecution if released from jail, and set bail at $5,000 cash.