U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
September 21, 2011
PROVIDENCE MEN ORDERED DETAINED IN ATF INVESTIGATION
INTO FIREARMS TRAFFICKING IN PROVIDENCE
Year-long investigation includes undercover purchases of
more than a dozen firearms, ammunition, bullet-proof vest, crack cocaine
PROVIDENCE, R.I. –Two Providence men have been ordered detained on federal charges resulting from a year-long investigation by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into firearms trafficking in Providence. Trini Fuentes, 23, named in a four count indictment, was ordered detained Tuesday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin. Carlos Vazquez, a/k/a “Crazy Carlos,” 42, named in an eleven count indictment, was ordered detained on Friday.
Vazquez and Fuentes were arrested Friday by teams of law enforcement agents from ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Rhode Island State Police. Indictments were returned on September 7, 2011. The indictments were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston field office.
According to court documents and information presented to the Court during Vazquez’s initial appearance in federal court on Friday, it is alleged that Vazquez sold nine firearms, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest and 6.5 grams of crack cocaine to an undercover ATF agent between March 2010 and June 2011 for cash and cigarettes. All of the transactions were electronically recorded. Vazquez has a lengthy criminal record which includes more than 34 arrests.
According to information presented to the court during hearings that concluded on Monday for Fuentes, including the playing of an undercover video depicting the alleged sale of a firearm by Fuentes to an undercover ATF agent, it is alleged Fuentes sold four firearms to an undercover ATF agent between March 2011 and June of 2011. Two of the guns were reported stolen in house breaks.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard W. Rose and Ly T. Chin, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Rogers.