News and Press Releases

Department of Attorney General
Rhode Island Attorney General                          
Patrick C. Lynch  

U.S. Department of Justice 
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

November 24, 2009

 

US Attorney Neronha & RI Attorney General Lynch announce joint prosecution of Massachusetts man who allegedly arranged to buy guns to rob a bank

 

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch announced today that both of their offices will be prosecuting the case against Arjusz Roszkowski, the 26-year-old North Reading, MA, man who shot himself while struggling with an undercover Rhode Island State Police detective from whom, State Police allege, Roszkowski was buying guns to rob a bank. The incident occurred in the parking lot of Lincoln Woods State Park Nov. 6.

State Police charged Roszkowski (DOB: 3/20/83) with nine crimes, seven of which are felonies: possession and attempted possession of a weapon without a license, possession and attempted possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, alteration of identification marks of a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm while committing a crime of violence.

Roszkowski is being held on a $250,000 surety ($25,000 cash) bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston. His next Rhode Island court date is a scheduled pre-arraignment disposition conference (PAC) in Providence District Court on Jan. 8, 2010. Because none of the original charges filed against Roszkowski is a capital offense, which would require a grand jury presentation and indictment, Lynch’s office instead is in the process of screening and charging the case itself in anticipation of the January PAC date.

A federal charge has also been lodged against Roszkowski.  A complaint was filed today in U.S. District Court, Providence, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The charge is a felony and therefore subject to review by a federal grand jury.  A complaint is merely an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty of the charge. 

“This case is exceptional in that although the defendant allegedly committed a host of crimes in Rhode Island — and jeopardized the life of a State Police trooper in doing so — he only came to Rhode Island, we believe, because he wanted to buy guns so that he could rob a bank in another state,” said Attorney General Lynch.

“This case is exceptional in that although the defendant allegedly committed a host of crimes in Rhode Island — and jeopardized the life of a State Police trooper in doing so — he only came to Rhode Island, we believe, because he wanted to buy guns so that he could rob a bank in another state,” said Attorney General Lynch.

Lynch was referring to Det. Christopher Zarrella, who wrestled with Roszkowski after the suspect allegedly reached for the gun that was tucked into his waistband. During their struggle, Roszkowski’s gun discharged, wounding Roszkowski in the neck. By previous arrangement with Zarrella, Roszkowski allegedly believed that Zarrella was going to sell him a shotgun and a 9-millimeter Glock for $1,000.

“One of my priorities is close collaboration between our office and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office,” U.S. Attorney Neronha said.  “This case presents a unique opportunity for state and federal prosecutors to work together, putting each office’s prosecutorial tools to work.”

Added Attorney General Lynch, “Given the seriousness of the allegations and of the suspect’s criminal history, we have worked closely with the Rhode Island State Police and the United States Attorney’s office in trying to determine the most appropriate venues to bring this case. We have decided it merits prosecution in both federal and state courts, and we hope by taking this step to send the strongest possible message that we will not tolerate this kind of armed violence.”  He said he has asked US Attorney Neronha to cross-designate, or temporarily appoint, Assistant Attorney General Pamela Chin, head of Lynch’s office’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, to assist Neronha’s office in prosecuting the case against Roszkowski.

“United States Attorney Neronha has discussed cross-designating Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Dambruch from his office to assist in the State’s prosecution as well,” Lynch said. “I appreciate the United States Attorney’s cooperative spirit as we continue to coordinate the prosecution of this dangerous criminal.”

 

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       Contact:  Michael Healey                                                               Contact:  Thomas Connell
                 401-274-4400                                                                                   401-709-5032
          mhealey@riag.state.ri.us                                                                  usari-media@usdoj.gov

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