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20 firearms, $50M in drugs confiscated from Jose Almestica’s residence– CoP

- said RVIPF seized a record 30 firearms in 2021
Commissioner of Police Mr Mark Collins, right, at a press conference outside Police Headquarters today, January 7, 2022, disclosed that 20 firearms and $50 million worth of drugs were found inside Almestica’s Ballast Bay apartment, paving the way for countless more charges to be laid against him. Photo: VINO
Jose Almestica, 33, of the US Virgin Islands, was re-captured on December 7, 2021. He was in prison for illegal possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and illegal entry prior to his escape from Her Majesty's Prison following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Photo: RVIPF
Jose Almestica, 33, of the US Virgin Islands, was re-captured on December 7, 2021. He was in prison for illegal possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and illegal entry prior to his escape from Her Majesty's Prison following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Photo: RVIPF
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- As the investigation into crimes allegedly committed by Mr Jose Almestica continues, Commissioner of Police Mr Mark Collins has disclosed that 20 firearms and $50 million worth of drugs were found inside Almestica’s Ballast Bay apartment, paving the way for countless more charges to be laid against him.

The CoP said the recapture of Almestica was a major achievement for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) in 2021.

“We consider Mr Almestica recapture substantial. He is obviously a lead player in the drug and arms trade not just in the BVI but in the USVI. There is a strong possibility that other charges may be brought against him as investigations continue. Almestica spent a number of years traversing the seas between the territories. Law enforcement agencies in both jurisdictions had hoped to recapture him before he was aware he was on the radar, which we did,” CoP Collins said at a press conference held today, Friday, January 7, 2022.

New Charges

Mr Collins said in addition to the existing charges of escaping lawful custody, Almestica was charged with 11 counts of Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm, four counts of Keeping a Prohibited Weapon, one count of Carrying an Unlicensed Firearm, eight counts of Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and four counts of Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply.

He said the new charges, “are as a result of the discovery of a cache of high powered, illegal and prohibited weapons; an unprecedented quantity of ammunition and a large amount of cash, as well as, a large amount of counterfeit notes, cocaine with a street value of almost $50 million, which were recovered in an operation conducted at the residence where Almestica was known to reside. As a result of the operation conducted by the Major Incident Team, 20 firearms total were confiscated. Of those 20, seven were high-powered prohibited weapons. In addition, close of 500 kilos of cocaine, 5.8 kilos of cannabis and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash were seized.”  

The CoP stated that others were also similarly charged with Almestica.

“Further, we have also laid similar charges against the three who were originally charged with harbouring Mr Almestica. These persons are Jennifer Smith, 26, Renee Smith, 33, and Shamal Smith, 31 (all previously charged with harbouring related offences and are on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison). They were charged with: 11 counts of Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm, three counts of Keeping a Prohibited Weapon, seven counts of Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and four counts of Possession of Control Drugs with Intent to Supply.”

Mr Collins said with the illegal firearms confiscated in this operation and the guns confiscated during other operations this year, “we have set a record of 30 guns seized for the year 2021. Of those seized, seven were prohibitive weapons. We also seized a record 1650 rounds of ammunition.”

He said the investigation is still live.

Almestica, 33, of the US Virgin Islands, was re-captured on December 7, 2021. He was in prison for illegal possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and illegal entry prior to his escape from Her Majesty's Prison following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

20 Responses to “20 firearms, $50M in drugs confiscated from Jose Almestica’s residence– CoP”

  • Real Talk (07/01/2022, 17:11) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    If you want to push legal drugs in these times you got to be pushing those vaccine. It’s legal and theres a lot of money in that market with lots of benefits such as money to help promote advertisements, money for staying quite (you don’t really have a choice but to stay quite tho) you get my point. When things settle down maybe you can risk going to jail by pushing whatever drugs the government finds illegal but for now you got to get on the train. Haven’t you heard there’s 500 new billionaires? Come on stop throwing your lives away and get in with the new drugs
  • No Future (07/01/2022, 17:29) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    There’s absolutely no future once drugs are involved
    . To all those that did they push and was successful run note the said money used to invest into whatever you currently have is still blood money. No life or establishment that was ever founded by drugs turned out ok in the end. All those who’s involved have been marked.
  • father (07/01/2022, 18:18) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dude, they going lost you up Balo for a long time
    • @ father (07/01/2022, 21:51) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not only balo but stt will be waiting upon release, if you referring to almestica
  • Jones (07/01/2022, 19:10) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    These animals deserve to be caged for life
  • right (07/01/2022, 19:30) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    He needs a lifetime slapped now.
    • hmmm (08/01/2022, 03:59) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      They nees get him out of here before he escape again
      • I have been asking (09/01/2022, 16:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        I have been asking myself the same question, If this guy is wanted so badly by the USVI. Set up to have him sent there to serve time. In fact, they shouldn't even allow him to serve time there st thomas. Send him to the maximum prison you got for individuals who like to escape.
  • ALL AH DIS (07/01/2022, 20:21) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    GOING ON IN THIS HOLY LAND ?
  • Wow! (07/01/2022, 21:54) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    He was ready for britian. All jokes aside he had to be getting help from many more. London bridge is falling down…
  • Unbelievable (07/01/2022, 23:51) Like (17) Dislike (9) Reply
    At this point The RVIPF needs to take some accountability. You mean to tell me not only was this guy "on the Lam" he was able to move this extremely large quantity of drugs and guns this stealthy. I can imagine what else is being done by the ones not wanted or on the run. This is a disgrace to the police force sorry 23 square miles something has to tighten up cuz know it just looks like higher ups are involved and corruption is majorly at play.
    • Sting operation (08/01/2022, 00:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Law enforcement agencies in both jurisdictions had hoped to recapture him before he was aware he was on the radar, which we did,” CoP Collins said

      Could it be the authorities wanted him to be on the run to catch others
    • @Unbelievable (08/01/2022, 00:41) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let me serve you an important quote AGAIN, cause I don't believe you UNDERSTOOD what was said,

      “We consider Mr Almestica recapture substantial. He is obviously a lead player in the drug and arms trade not just in the BVI but in the USVI. There is a strong possibility that other charges may be brought against him as investigations continue. Almestica spent a number of years traversing the seas between the territories. Law enforcement agencies in both jurisdictions had hoped to recapture him before he was aware he was on the radar, which we did,” - CoP

      From when the surveillance started, it doesn't say, but the point is, both territories was aware of his movements. So you holding both of them accountable?

      I just wished the USVI got a hold of him first, is all.
    • mmmmm (10/01/2022, 14:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Lol, sir/maam

      Welcome to the BVI
  • Well (08/01/2022, 00:16) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    What about Malcom Day????
  • justice (08/01/2022, 00:18) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good thing get him off the streets but what about malcom day??
  • @ UNBELIEVABLE ? (08/01/2022, 06:44) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    WELL BELIEVE IT OR NOT ,ITS ALL HAPPENING RIGHT UNDER THIS YELLOW SITE ,/ BUT I GUESS ITS MORE IMPORTANT PORTRAYING RACISM AND BORIS EVERYDAY
  • Jose (08/01/2022, 09:35) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Do ballistic test on all those guns and u will see this whole thing turn up. just wait.
  • SMH (08/01/2022, 23:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    We will NEVER know the exact figure in $$$ seized or confiscated. We presume Drugs get destroy, don't know about weapons or ammunition. So what happens to the Money? Inquiring Minds wants to know!


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