ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Charlotte Amalie Post Office in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, have discovered several pistols as part of a routine inspection of packages arriving from the continental United States.
On June 13, CBP officers selected for examination an express mail package sent from Florida to a PO Box on St Thomas. The box contained an RCA DVD home theater, but X-ray imaging showed pistol like objects concealed inside the system. Further examination revealed three pistol slides concealed inside the DVD unit and three pistol lower frames concealed in a speaker unit. The pistols were assembled and inventoried as a Glock 19 9mm, a Ruger P89 9mm, and Taurus PT 940 .40 caliber Smith & Wesson. The pistols were seized and transferred to Homeland Security Investigations.
Recently, a similar seizure of weapons occurred at the San Juan International Mail Branch regarding a mail parcel shipped from Daltona, Florida, to St Thomas. CBP officers detected and seized a Glock .40 caliber pistol and three magazines concealed within the parcel.
“CBP officers are committed to protecting our communities from the illegal importation of firearms and other contraband that might cause harm”, said USVI area port director Louis Harrigan. “Both CBP and the importing community have a shared responsibility to maximize compliance with laws and regulations.”
In the past two months, USVI CBP officers have detected at least 13 different incidents of attempted contraband through the mail, including over 62 pounds of marijuana and 227 grams of hashish. The contraband was hidden in several items, including school binders, record players, air compressors, peanut butter jars, coffee cans, stuffed animals, air purifiers, plastic Easter eggs and even a Mother’s Day gift.
In addition to the seized items found by CBP in the USVI, CBP officers working at the San Juan International Mail Branch (IMB) are also vigilant to impede illegal contraband reaching the US Virgin Islands in parcels being sent from the United States. Examples of items used to hide illegal contraband through mail parcels en route to the USVI and detected by CBP at the IMB in the past few months include sheet sets, speaker boxes, candles, DVD players, baby blankets and a submersible camera. Seized items include marijuana, cocaine and weapons.