News and Press Releases

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

June 8 , 2010

3RD WOONSOCKET MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN ARMED DRUG RIP-OFF

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Woonsocket man charged in connection with the theft of a half kilogram of marijuana at gunpoint entered a change of plea to guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence. Julio Candelario, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery, using a firearm to commit a crime of violence, and trafficking in marijuana. He is the third Woonsocket man to plead guilty to the armed rip-off which occurred in Providence in February 2009. Candelario also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey announced the guilty pleas, which Candelario entered before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith.

At Monday’s change of plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose said the government could prove that, on February 13, 2009, Candelario, along with two other men, Robert Beauparlant, Jr., and Pedro Cuadrado, traveled from Woonsocket to Providence to meet with an individual they believed had a large quantity of marijuana for sale. The individual was staying at a Providence residence while he was working to prepare it for tenants.   

When the three men entered the house, a firearm was drawn and pointed at the individual working in the house. He was then robbed of a half kilo of marijuana and, among other things, a leather bank bag which contained $2,800 dollars in cash and several receipts.  The money belonged to the property owner, and was to have been used to purchase construction supplies for the home. 

The three robbers fled the house and drove back to Woonsocket in a car owned by the mother of one of the co-defendants.  The marijuana was sold and the proceeds were divided among the three men.

Noting that the risk of violence escalates when an individual robs a drug dealer, particularly at gunpoint, U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said, “Those who sell drugs, whether it be marijuana or some other kind of illegal drug, and who carry firearms or are otherwise prepared to engage in violence, should know that their crimes will be aggressively prosecuted by this Office and that they will be held to account.”

Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey expressed his appreciation in the efforts of the law enforcement officers and prosecutors involved, adding, “The investigation demonstrates a continued partnership with local, state and federal agencies to make our community safe. Gun violence and illegal drugs is a significant community concern that will be aggressively pursued with the assistance from our law enforcement partners.”

Julio Candelario faces a maximum penalty for the conspiracy and robbery offenses of 20 years imprisonment.  The penalty for using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is seven years to life imprisonment, and the maximum for the marijuana trafficking is five years in prison.  Each offense also carries a potential $250,000 fine. The firearms sentence must be served consecutive to any other sentence he receives. Candelario is detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled for October 1, 2010.

Robert Beauparlant, Jr., 26, pleaded guilty November 18, 2009, to conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery, using a firearm to commit a crime of violence, and trafficking in marijuana. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy and robbery offenses is 20 years imprisonment.  The penalty for using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is seven years to life imprisonment, and the maximum for the marijuana trafficking is five years in prison.  The firearms sentence must be served consecutive to any other sentence he receives. Each offense also carries a potential $250,000 fine. Beauparlant is detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled for June 24, 2010.

Pedro Cuadrado, 21, pleaded guilty February 5, 2010, to conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery, using a firearm to commit a crime of violence, and trafficking in marijuana.  The maximum penalty for the conspiracy and robbery offenses is 20 years. The penalty for using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is seven years to life imprisonment, and the maximum for the marijuana trafficking is five years in prison. The firearms sentence must be served consecutive to any other sentence he receives. Each offense also carries a potential $250,000 fine. He is detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 10, 2010.

The case was investigated by ATF and Woonsocket Police.

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

 

 

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