Officers patrolling the John F. Kennedy Terrace housing community on St. Croix arrested a man Thursday for drug and gun possession, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police.
Jahseen Simmonds was charged with carrying a firearm openly or concealed, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of ammunition, first-degree burglary, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and carrying or using a dangerous weapon, according to the fact sheet filed in V.I. Superior Court.
Simmonds was held overnight on $50,000 bond until his advice of rights hearing Friday.
According to police, officers assigned to the V.I. Crime Initiative were patrolling the housing community in the area of Building 29 “where there have been reported gun shots being fired and illegal drugs are being sold.” The officers saw a man, later identified as Simmonds, flee into an apartment as they approached, according to the fact sheet.
The occupants of the apartment told officers the man ran into their home without permission, and led police to where Simmonds had been inside. Police said they found a handgun in plain sight on top of some clothes, and the occupants said it hadn’t been there before Simmonds came in.
Police said the gun had a live 9mm round in the chamber, 15 rounds in the magazine, and 31 rounds in the extended magazine.
As police were escorting Simmonds out of the apartment, he told them “that the black backpack on the stairs belonged to him,” but declined to answer any of the officers’ questions, according to the fact sheet. Officers searched the backpack and found a digital scale and marijuana packaged in vials and cling film.
Officers also searched Simmonds and found a switchblade knife, an iPhone and $107 in cash, according to the fact sheet.
During his advice of rights hearing Friday, V.I. Assistant Attorney General Vanessa Hewitt-Quinland said Simmonds is facing a possible 30-year prison sentence.
Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho tallied Simmonds’ seven arrests since 2011, five of which included illegal weapons charges.
“I’m just looking at Mr. Simmonds’ history, and it’s not good, although most of the charges have been dismissed with prejudice,” Camacho said. “He likes these weapons, I believe. Although he hasn’t been convicted for any of these, he’s been arrested on weapons charges before.”
Camacho ordered that in order to be released to the custody of a third-party custodian, he must post $5,000 cash and remain under 24-hour house arrest.