U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
December 15, 2011
Armed Gang Member Sentenced to 72 Months in Federal Prison
on Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Johnny Souphida, 21, of Providence, an admitted armed drug dealer and member of the Laos Pride street gang in Providence was sentenced today to 72 months in federal prison for trafficking in ecstasy pills, heroin and cocaine; and for being in possession of two firearms in furtherance of his drug dealing announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi also sentenced Souphida to 5 years supervised release to be served upon completion of his prison sentence. Souphida pleaded guilty in September 2011 as charged in a five-count federal indictment. At the time of his arrest in May 2011, Souphida was serving a suspended sentence for a state conviction of carrying a pistol without a license.
“Gangs, drugs and firearms are a volatile mix, plaguing our neighborhoods and putting residents in fear,” said U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “Prison sentences like this one send precisely the right message – that those who engage in this activity will not be in our neighborhoods for a very long time.”
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare added, “Cases like this one underscore the commitment and hard work of the Providence Police Department to get drugs, drug dealers and guns off the streets of Providence. We are committed to continue our strong working relationships with our federal and state law enforcement partners and prosecutors to locate, investigate, arrest and prosecute those who sell drugs and bring guns into our neighborhoods.”
According to information presented to the court, an investigation into Souphida’s drug trafficking activity by the Providence Police Department Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureau, including numerous undercover drug purchases, culminated with the arrest of Souphida on May 16, 2011 and the execution of a state court authorized search warrant at his Providence residence. A search of Souphida’s residence and a locked safe located in a bedroom resulted in the seizure of over 2,400 ecstasy pills, 22 grams of heroin and 91 grams of cocaine. In furtherance of his drug trafficking activities, Souphida also possessed two firearms, one of which was loaded. The other firearm he possessed was previously reported stolen. Detectives also seized $4,090 in cash
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein.
The matter was investigated by Providence Police with the assistance of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.