ST. THOMAS, V.I. - A judge sentenced Daniel Cove to two years in
prison for failing to keep his sexual offender registration current.
“It is a pattern
that you have and it is very troubling,” V.I. Superior Court Judge Renée Gumbs
Carty told Cove on Thursday as she handed down her punishment on him.
Cove, 33, was
arrested last October, a day after the Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of
Investigation launched an initiative dubbed “Operation Ponderosa,” during which
DOJ special agents conducted unannounced inspections of certain registered
sexual offenders on the east end of St. Thomas for the purpose of verifying
their locations and other personal information.
that Cove had not kept his registration current, as required by law and so,
they commenced a manhunt for him and upon locating him, Cove was charged with
failure to keep sexual offender registration current. His bail was set at
$1,000, but he remained behind bars pending his sentencing as he was unable to
post bail. Cove accepted a plea deal offered by Attorney General Claude Earl
Walker, which recommended a one-year prison term with six months suspended, and
pleaded guilty to the crime.
sentencing hearing, Cove received a two-year prison sentence with one year
suspended and credit for the four months and four days he has already served.
Gumbs Carty also ordered that after his release from prison, Cove has to be
placed on supervised probation, he has to complete 100 hours of community
service and he has to undergo psychiatric counseling.
“I apologize for
my actions,” he told the court.
Cove moved to
St. Croix in 2002, then later moved to St. Thomas. He was registered as a sex
offender in the district of St. Thomas-St. John, but
had ended up in the St. Croix district and agents from the Department of
Justice were actively working to locate him.
On Oct. 4, 2016, Cove walked into the St. Croix office of the DOJ and
turned himself over to authorities.
on St. Croix came just a few days after AG Walker had revised an existing
policy requiring that all sex offenders in the territory now notify DOJ even
when traveling between these islands.
The case was
prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Bowles.