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

November 4, 2011

CONVICTED FELON SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR PURCHASING A FIREARM FROM AN UNDERCOVER PROVIDENCE POLICE OFFICER

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man who solicited an undercover Providence police officer and sold prescription drugs to him, and who later purchased a firearm from the officer, was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison. David Rios, 60, pleaded guilty in August 2011 to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi also  sentenced Rios to 3 years of supervised release following his release from federal prison.

Rios’ sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare; and Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Boston Field Office.

At the time of his guilty plea, Rios admitted to the Court that on several occasions in March 2010, he sold an undercover Providence police officer Percocet and Clonazepam pills. During one of the transactions, Rios inquired if the officer knew anyone who was selling a firearm. 

Rios admitted to the Court that on March 25, 2011, Rios and the undercover officer went to a location in Cranston where the officer showed Rios a .380 pistol that the officer told him was for sale.  Rios admitted purchasing the firearm from the officer for $120 in cash along with a small quantity of Clonazepam pills. He was immediately arrested.

Rios, who was held in State custody following his arrest, was charged by way of an Information in federal court in July 2011 and was placed in federal custody.  

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin,

The matter was investigated by Providence Police and ATF.

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

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