U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
May 21, 2010
37 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON AND POSSIBLE DEPORTATION TO LIBERIA FOR FELON IN POSESSION OF A FIREARM
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man was sentenced today to 37 months in federal prison and faces the potential of being deported having been indicted for and pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Patrick Johnson, 26, a Liberian national, will begin serving his three year federal prison sentence after he completes serving a state prison sentence in October 2010, having been found to be a probation violator.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced today’s sentence which was imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
Late in the evening of March 9, 2009, two Providence police officers stopped a vehicle being operated by Johnson in an erratic manner on Glenbridge Avenue. As officers approached the vehicle they observed the defendant reaching next to the center console. When officers instructed the defendant to show his hands, he refused. Police observed a clear plastic bag in the defendant’s left hand.
As police were removing Johnson from the vehicle he threw a clear plastic bag containing suspected marijuana from his left hand to the ground. He was then taken into custody. In searching the vehicle, officers discovered a .38 caliber revolver loaded with six live rounds. Johnson admitted to police that the weapon belonged to him.
The defendant had previously been convicted in state court for possession with intent to distribute narcotics, a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment. Upon completion of his federal prison sentence, Johnson will be referred to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for possible deportation to Liberia.
The matter was investigated by Providence Police, ATF and ICE. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.