WASHINGTON – Three members of a violent criminal gang were convicted today in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) by a federal jury for RICO conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, robbery, and drug dealing.
According to court documents and the evidence presented at trial, the Paul Girard criminal enterprise committed murders and was involved in other acts of violence, targeted jewelry stores and banks for robberies, and distributed illegal drugs.
“These defendants terrorized the U.S. Virgin Islands through violence and theft,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s verdicts, and the guilty pleas of seven additional co-defendants in this case, demonstrate that the Department of Justice, and our law enforcement partners, are committed to combating the threat of gang violence.”
“Today’s verdict makes clear that the people of the Virgin Islands will not tolerate violent criminal activity directed against their fellow islanders,” said U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert for the U.S. Virgin Islands. “These convictions mark the dismantlement of the Paul Girard Criminal Enterprise. This was a team effort. We are hugely grateful for the dedication of the prosecution team.”
“The use of violence and intimidation by these gang members to try and assert power over the people of the Virgin Islands failed,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “These criminals thought they were untouchable, but today’s verdict demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the FBI to investigate and disrupt criminal enterprises like this and demand justice for their victims.”
“There is no greater threat to our nation than that of violence and fear in our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Joseph Gonzalez of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office. “With this verdict, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands can rest assured in the FBI’s commitment to work aggressively to curtail violence in our streets. I’d like to thank our local partners for their work on this case and their continued support to the FBI mission.”
Evidence presented at trial showed that Paul Girard, aka Bogus, 34, of St. Croix, USVI, was the leader of the group. Girard ordered shootings against rival gang members, as well as individuals he believed had stolen from or otherwise disrespected the gang. Girard planned, and his crew executed, several armed robberies including of the Divi Carina Bay Casino in St. Croix, as well as Gems and Gold Corner jewelry store, Signatures Jewelry, and 3Gs Jewelry and Repair located in St. Thomas. Most of the criminal activity was orchestrated by Girard from prison, where he is currently serving sentences for multiple prior criminal convictions.
According to evidence presented at trial, Tyler Eugene, aka Lucc, 24, of St. Croix, committed acts of violence on behalf of the gang, including murdering a rival gang member outside a convenience store at Girard’s direction. Kareem Harry, aka Crumbull, 34, of St. Croix, committed acts of violence on behalf of the gang including participating in the murder of a victim who was believed to have stolen money from the Girard gang. Harry also set up the shooting death of a rival gang member outside of the victim’s child’s daycare.
Girard was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy, three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, three counts of the use of a firearm resulting in death, three counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, three counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of kidnapping in aid of racketeering, and four counts of using of a firearm during a crime of violence. Eugene was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of the use of a firearm resulting in death, two counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Harry was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, two counts of use of a firearm resulting in death, and one count of kidnapping in aid of racketeering. Because each defendant was convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, each faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Seven additional defendants indicted in the same case have already pleaded guilty to various racketeering charges.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Virgin Islands Police Department.
Trial Attorney Christopher Taylor of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Trial Attorney Marie Zisa of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Edwards for the U.S. Virgin Islands prosecuted the case.