U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
April 25, 2011
MASSACHUSETTS MAN WHO DISCHARGED A FIREARM DURING A STRUGGLE WITH RI STATE POLICE DETECTIVE SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
Joint federal and state prosecution secured conviction of
Arjusz Roszkowski on federal firearm charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Reading, Massachusetts man convicted in September 2010 on federal firearms charges in connection with a November 2009 scuffle with a Rhode Island State Police Detective in Lincoln Woods State Park, during which he discharged a firearm, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 180 months in federal prison. The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.
Arjusz Roszkowski, 28, was convicted by a jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number following a three day jury trial and less than three hours of deliberation. The case was jointly prosecuted in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and R.I. Assistant Attorney General Pamela Chin.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “Fifteen years in prison, the maximum permitted by statute, is precisely the right sentence for the hardened, gun-toting criminal who is the subject of this case. I am grateful for the fine work of the federal/state prosecution team, whose collective efforts have ensured that Mr. Roszkowski will not be in a position to harm others for a very long time.”
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin said, “This is a case of law enforcement at its best, working together to get dangerous felons off our streets for a very long time. There are many factors that go into the decision where to prosecute a case. In this case, it was determined a joint prosecution of the defendant in federal court would best serve justice due to the tougher minimum sentences for the charges.”
During trial, the prosecutors presented evidence that in November 2009, Roszkowski placed a telephone call to a person he believed would sell him firearms and ammunition. The call was actually placed to Rhode Island State Police Detective Christopher Zarrella, who was acting in an undercover capacity. During the call, which was recorded, the two agreed to meet the following day for the purpose of the transaction.
When the two met the next day in a parking lot of Lincoln Woods State Park, and as Roszkowski exited his vehicle and approached the detective, the detective observed what he believed to be a firearm sticking out of the defendant’s waistband. Detective Zarrella identified himself as a police officer and attempted to restrain Roszkowski. Roszkowski resisted, and during the course of an ensuing struggle, Roszkowski discharged the firearm and was wounded.
The matter was investigated by the Rhode Island State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.