U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 6, 2009
Felon admits possessing a firearm
stolen from a police officer’s house
Rodney Wilcox, 24, of Providence, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Providence Police narcotics detectives saw Wilcox clutching what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, and arrested him after Wilcox fled and tossed away the gun. The handgun had been stolen during a break-in at a Providence Police officer’s house.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the guilty plea, which Wilcox entered before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in U.S. District Court, Providence.
At the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose said the government could prove that, on the afternoon of May 28, detectives saw Wilcox in the Hartford Park housing complex, clutching a weighted object in his waistband as he walked towards the officers.
The detectives ordered Wilcox to place his hands in the air, but instead, he ran and tossed away the handgun. Detectives caught him and retrieved the firearm, a .40 caliber pistol that had been stolen from a Providence Police officer during a housebreak.
The defendant is detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled for March 19. The maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is ten years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Wilcox has prior drug convictions.
Providence Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.