Second Gun Runner Suspect in VIPD Custody

Two men allegedly tried to send guns from Florida through Cyril E. King Airport in a checked bag. (Source photo by Mat Probasco)

A man suspected of arranging illegal firearm imports from Florida to St. Thomas was taken into Virgin Islands Police Department custody after extradition from the mainland, according to court records filed Monday.

Feliciano Comandante Olivieri, 30, was arrested in Orlando, Florida, on suspicion of sending two disassembled handguns to an alleged partner on St. Thomas in March 2023. Police arrested Jakel Jamal Bell, also 30, as he allegedly attempted to leave Cyril E. King Airport with the bag of guns.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection had noticed the bag and warned local officials. Police watched Bell, who had not flown that day, chat on his phone while the checked luggage arrived. They said he picked it up and walked past the area designated for declaring firearms without stopping.

An investigation at the airport revealed the baggage claim ticket to be under the name Christopher Wise. A search warrant for Bell’s phone revealed messages with Olivieri, under the name Gun Dawg, in Florida. Olivieri allegedly advised Bell the bag would be marked as belonging to Christopher Wise.

How the bag got onto the plane was not clear.

Bell was charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, failing to report a firearm, importing a firearm without a license, and aiding and abetting to do the same, and conspiracy.

Olivieri was charged with selling firearms without a license and conspiracy.