Nyron Erickson
United States prosecutors in St. Thomas moved this month to dismiss their case against Virgin Islander Nyron “Batt” Erickson, above. But they are resisting his request that the case be dismissed with prejudice. (File photo: PROVIDED)

After recently being incarcerated for nearly three years while facing United States charges, Virgin Islander Nyron “Batt” Erickson could soon walk free as US prosecutors move to dismiss their case accusing him of conspiring to transport drug proceeds from this territory into the US Virgin Islands.

The prosecutors, however, are resisting Mr. Erickson’s request that the charges be dismissed with prejudice, which would prevent the US from filing them again in the future.

Mr. Erickson was extradited to the USVI to face the charges in February after his two-and-a-half-year legal battle opposing extradition dead-ended in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

US prosecutors originally accused him of conspiring with other men to use the Tortola-St. Thomas ferry to move $130,000 of suspected drug proceeds from this territory to the USVI in 2018.

“Erickson is believed to be a member of a drug trafficking organisation based in Tortola,” Assistant US Attorney Everard Potter stated in a trial brief filed on Aug. 11.

Mr. Erickson — who has maintained his innocence — was scheduled to start trial on Aug. 22. But after his lawyer moved to exclude certain evidence, prosecutors abruptly reversed course on Aug. 17 and asked the court for leave to dismiss the indictment.

“After a careful review of the evidence, and in the interest of justice, the government has concluded that its available admissible evidence would not permit a properly instructed jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the charges alleged in the above captioned indictment,” the US filing stated.

Erickson’s position

But Mr. Erickson’s lawyer, Pamela Lynn Colon, opposed the US motion because it did not state that the indictment would be dismissed with prejudice.

This omission, Ms. Colon noted, leaves the door open for the US to file charges again.

“Nyron Erickson agrees that the case must be dismissed,” Ms. Colon wrote in an Aug. 17 response. “However, justice and the Constitution demands that it be dismissed with prejudice.”

Mr. Potter, she added, had previously agreed in phone conversations to ask the court to dismiss the charges with prejudice. Her filing also accused the government of acting in “bad faith” and attempting to “harass” Mr. Erickson.

“The government did not properly prepare its case and only on the eve of trial, after learning the strategy of Nyron Erickson’s defences, sought a temporary exit from the ligation arena, but one that would allow it an unfair and prejudicial second bite at the apple,” Ms. Colon wrote.

“To keep the possibility of re-charging open under these circumstances can only serve the purpose of extending Nyron Erickson’s anxiety that the force and weight of the United States government will again be used to attempt to convict him of crimes with evidence that it failed to obtain in its first bite at the appeal and likely will never be able to obtain.”

On Aug. 18, the court removed Mr. Erickson’s trial from its calendar and ordered the US to respond by Aug. 24 to his request for dismissal with prejudice.

On Aug. 24, the US responded with a filing that again asked the court to dismiss the case, stating that Mr. Erickson “has not satisfied the requirement for dismissal with prejudice.”

The next day, however, the court ordered the government to file a notice stating “clearly and unequivocally” whether its motion to dismiss is “with or without prejudice.”

On Aug. 28, the government complied, stating explicitly that its motion was without prejudice.

Mr. Potter and Ms. Colon did not respond to requests for comment.


Mr. Erickson was indicted in August 2019 by a federal grand jury sitting in St. Thomas.

The indictment accused Mr. Erickson and two men who had been arrested in St. Thomas in 2018 — Akil Erickson of Orlando and Mikiel Robin of this territory — of international money laundering conspiracy and bulk cash smuggling.

Proceedings against Akil Erickson and Mr. Robin continued until June 2020, when USVI District Court Judge Robert Molloy dismissed the charges with prejudice after finding that federal prosecutors had used “intentional and calculated” steps to improperly delay the prosecution of the pair.

Warrants in US, VI

In the meantime, the US government had issued an arrest warrant for Nyron Erickson on Jan. 17, 2020, and the Royal VI Police Force had followed suit the next month.

Though the RVIPF circulated Mr. Erickson’s photo and appealed for public assistance in locating him, he was not taken into custody until surrendering to the RVIPF on Aug. 30, 2020.

On Oct. 20, 2020, the US attorney general issued an extradition request in connection with the 2019 indictment. Ten days later, then-Governor Gus Jaspert issued a certificate to proceed, according to a later High Court judgment.

An extradition hearing commenced in November 2020. After several adjournments, Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards dismissed challenges made by Mr. Erickson and remitted the case to Governor John Rankin, who had succeeded Mr. Jaspert, on July 1, 2021, the judgment stated.

Extradition order

On Aug. 13, 2021, Mr. Rankin issued an order for the extradition. The following month, however, Mr. Erickson’s attorneys requested leave to appeal, which was granted by the High Court on Dec. 15, 2021, the later judgment noted.

During the appeal hearing last year, Mr. Erickson’s attorneys argued that he would not receive a fair trial in the US and that he would experience pressure to plead guilty, among other claims, according to the judgment in the matter. However, High Court Justice Richard Floyd, who delivered that judgment, was not convinced.

In his Aug. 11, 2022 decision, Mr. Floyd stated that “the court recognises and supports the presumption that the appellant will receive a fair and just trial” in the US.

Mr. Floyd acknowledged that Mr. Erickson had a constitutional right to liberty and security, but he stated that the court was satisfied that his detention followed the lawful procedure authorised by the Extradition Act 2003 (Overseas Territories) Order 2016, which he noted was the applicable extradition legislation.

As such, the judge dismissed Mr. Erickson’s appeal. Mr. Erickson then attempted to have this ruling overturned through an appeal to the Judicial Committee of Privy Council, which is the territory’s final court of appeal. His efforts did not succeed.

He was extradited to the US on Feb. 27 after being held at His Majesty’s Prison since turning himself in to VI police in August 2020.