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

August 10, 2011


David Rios’ offer to sell drugs to an undercover officer
eventually leads to the defendant’s purchase of a firearm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man who solicited an undercover officer and offered to sell drugs to him, and who later purchased a firearm from the officer, faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty in federal district court on Tuesday to being a felon in possession of a firearm. United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the guilty plea of David Rios, 60, entered before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.

According to court records and information presented to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin, in March 2011, an undercover officer was approached by David Rios who offered to sell the officer various prescription drugs.  The officer purchased Percocet and Clonazepam pills from Rios on several different occasions in March 2011.  During one of the transactions, Rios inquired if the officer knew anyone who was selling a firearm. 

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 purchased the firearm from the officer for $120 in cash along with a small quantity of Clonazepam pills and was arrested.

Rios, who had been 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. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Lisi on November 4, 2011.

The matter was investigated by Providence Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Contact: 401-709-5357

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