Nyron Erickson, who recently turned himself over to police after months of evading lawful custody is now facing the possibility of extradition to the United States (US).
The accused is facing charges of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments from outside of the US and conspiracy to conceal more than $10,000 from outside the US.
During is arraignment on Monday, August 31, Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards said paperwork from the US alleges that Erickson and several others were smuggling money in bulk to the US.
She said the 28-year-old BVIslander was indicted by a grand jury in the US relating to those allegations, and his other co-accused are said to be in the custody of the US.
“I have a document that seems to indicate that there are five counts of smuggling of money,” the Magistrate said.
Erickson was denied bail pending his extradition hearing but his attorney, Patrick Thompson said though the offences are serious, it does not disqualify his client from receiving bail.
He further reminded the court that it was Erickson — a self-employed father of three — who decided to surrender himself over to the authorities, adding that strict bail conditions could be imposed to satisfy the court.
History of Evasion
Though describing Erickson’s eventual surrender as ‘noble’, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit said the accused was able to evade capture three times in seven months and illegally travelled to another British Overseas Territory.
The DPP said Erickson has been evading the authorities since January 18 when he was accosted at a local nightclub but received assistance from others to escape.
“The intelligence received is that he then went to Anguilla from January 21 – he escaped by boat. On February 12, using local online media and print media, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) circulated a wanted poster concerning Mr Erickson,” Scatliffe-Esprit told the court.
She further said that on April 14, police visited a property at Belmont Estate on Tortola after receiving information that Erickson was at that location. However, when the RVIPF arrived, colleagues of Erickson obstructed the police and assisted him in again evading apprehension.
Police sent out a second wanted poster on July 9 which resulted in information that led police to a Georges, North Side house on July 12. Again, Erickson’s colleagues assisted him in evading the police, the court heard.
Sometime after, Erickson reportedly sought legal counsel in the form of Valerie Gordon with the intention of turning himself over to police, the DPP said. She said Gordon made arrangements with a police inspector on his behalf in late July but Erickson never showed up.
Scatliffe-Esprit said the police was in the process of making another wanted poster when Erickson turned himself in on Sunday, August 30.
“It’s all very noble for him to have done that but the fact that he was away for seven months, he was wanted by the authorities and at least on three occasions [and] did actions to evade the authorities, we say is compelling to our argument that he is a flight risk. Because we don’t know the circumstances as to why he turned himself in,” the DPP stated.
She pointed out that he also has access to vessels and can flee if he chooses to do so. Scatliffe-Esprit further said she does not believe any conditions imposed would be sufficient to ensure he returns to court for the proceedings.
After hearing both arguments, Erickson was ordered remanded until his next court appearance on September 16.
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