News and Press Releases

News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

April 19, 2010

                                                                             

PROVIDENCE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL GUN CHARGE

            PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man pleaded guilty Monday to being a felon in possession of a firearm, having been arrested in September 2009 by Providence Police who were monitoring reports of a potential confrontation between gangs. Dwayne Wheeler, 31, entered a change of plea before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi; it was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

            On September 20, 2009, Providence Police were monitoring reports of a potential confrontation between the Asian Boys (“ABz”) and Laos Pride (“LP”).  In the vicinity of an area known to be frequented by gang members, officers observed several individuals who dispersed in different directions when they saw the police.  A patrol officer observed a man closing the hood of a vehicle, jump into the driver seat, and speed away.  The car ran a stop sign and was stopped by police for further investigation. 

            The police asked Wheeler, who was the driver and the individual they had seen moments earlier closing the hood of the car, if there were any weapons in the vehicle.  The defendant stated there were none and he permitted police to search the vehicle. Police discovered a loaded .380 caliber pistol in a space near the battery compartment.

            Wheeler, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15, 2010. He was convicted on a felony charge in Rhode Island state court in 2000, and was sentenced to five years to serve - fifteen years suspended with probation.

            The matter was investigated by ATF and the Providence Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard W. Rose.

 

Contact: 401-709-5357
USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101

USAO RI Twitter

Stay Connected: Visit us on Twitter

Federal Child Support Enforcement

judge's gavel

Learn More

Information

How to File a Complaint

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.