Man Arrested on Gun Charges During ‘Operation Vise Grip’


A man was arrested on firearm charges early Saturday after V.I. Police officers responded to a reported disturbance in Havensight on St. Thomas.

Officers from the Mariel C. Newton Command, Richard Callwood Command, Special Operations Bureau, Criminal Investigation Bureau, Department of Licensing  and Consumer Affairs and Department of Planning and Natural Resources were conducting an ongoing multiagency collaboration, called “Operation Vise Grip,” when they received a call at 12:17 a.m. for a disturbance in the area of Chicken and Bowling in Havensight, according to a press release.

Responding officers detained several individuals who were attempting to leave the scene, according to the release. While conducting a preliminary investigation, they discovered a black firearm and a holster inside a vehicle.

According to the police report, 28-year-old La’Quan Eric Castro stated that he had placed the firearm inside the vehicle and was the owner of the firearm. Castro was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Bail was set at $60,000; Castro was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending his Advice of Rights hearing, the release stated.

St. Thomas Acting Police Chief Steven Phillips stated “Operation Vice Grip” is one of many  efforts to reduce violent crime in the community. “The VIPD must be the guardians of the  community. I thank the commanders, supervisors and officers for their continued hard work and dedication. Most importantly, the public; remember, the police is the public and the public is the police,” he said.

This case is under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau. Any persons having information regarding this incident can call the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211, ext. 5576/5572. They can also contact 911, and Crime Stoppers V.I. at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).