News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases 2012

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December 2012

December 20, 2012

John J. McCauley, Jr., 54, of Providence, owner and co-operator of McCauley and L’Europa Public Adjusters, LLC, and PIA Restoration, LLC, and longtime Rhode Island state legislator, was sentenced today to 27 months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States of more than $500,000 and filing false tax returns, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation; Richard Deslauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of ATF; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

December 20, 2012

A federal grand jury indictment returned on Wednesday and unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., charges three Rhode Island men with allegedly stealing over 200,000 gallons of used vegetable cooking oil from hundreds of restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and then selling the product to a New Hampshire company that specializes in processing used cooking oil for use in animal feed and biofuel.

December 20, 2012

Juan Carlos Santiago, 35, of Providence, R.I., was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on federal charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, and traveling outside of the United States to produce child pornography.

December 18, 2012

Neftali Melendez, 26, of Woonsocket, was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison, the high end of advisory federal sentencing guidelines, for illegally selling firearms during an undercover investigation by ATF and the Woonsocket Police Department into the trafficking of firearms in Woonsocket, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Office; and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas A. Carey.

December 14, 2012

Juan Carlos Espejo Sanchez, 40, of Providence, R.I., and Doneri Aguilar Sandoval, 52, of Attleboro, Mass., are detained in federal custody, charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. The defendants were charged as the result of an undercover DEA Worcester, Mass., Tactical Diversion Squad (DEA Task Force) investigation into the alleged trafficking and seizure of nearly fourteen kilos of crystal methamphetamine worth an estimated $4.2 million.

December 12, 2012

Rafael Lara-Mejia, a/k/a. Gabriel Arenas, Martin Muniz Rosado, and Jeffrey Montanez Rivera, a Dominican national living in Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence to charges resulting from his participation in a scheme to steal and sell the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and corresponding identity documents, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

December 6, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced today that his office collected $512,461,182 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal, civil and asset forfeiture actions, including $500 million forfeited by Google, Inc., following an investigation into its advertising practices.

November 2012

November 30, 2012

Randolph Hurst, 49, of West Warwick R.I., a former Assistant District Manager for the Social Security Administration in Warwick, R.I., was named in an eleven-count federal indictment returned on Thursday and unsealed today in U.S. District Court, which alleges that he stole the identity of a Coventry, R.I., man, and used the victim’s identity to fraudulently sell more than $160,000 worth of stock certificates belonging to the victim. The indictment alleges that Hurst sold the stock certificates through a financial advisor in Providence and used the proceeds to pay for personal items and expenses.

November 29, 2012

Saul Lemoi, 38, of West Warwick, R.I., a former senior energy auditor with the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) in Cranston, R.I., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. to two years of probation, the first year to be served in home confinement, and 400 hours of community service for accepting kickbacks of federal weatherization funds earmarked to make the homes of eligible low-income families more energy efficient and for lying to a federal agent, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

November 28, 2012

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the federal court jury conviction of Arjusz Roszkowski, 29, of Reading, Mass., on one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

November 20, 2012

Louis R. Peters III, 23, of West Topsham, Vt., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence on Monday to 120 months in federal prison for his participation in the May 28, 2011, armed robbery of a West Greenwich, R.I., bank. Employees were bound and held at gunpoint as they readied the bank to be opened for business.

November 20, 2012

Glen Matteson, 52, of Richmond, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to one count each of receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography, as charged in a federal indictment returned in August 2012. Matteson, a former Chariho High School assistant soccer coach, faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years and up to 60 years in federal prison; up to lifetime supervised release; and up to $750,000 in fines when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. on February 8, 2013.

November 19, 2012

Former Central Falls Mayor Charles D. Moreau and longtime friend, businessman and political supporter Michael G. Bouthillette pled guilty to federal corruption charges today for participating in a corruption scheme in which the former mayor accepted goods and services from Mr. Bouthillette as a reward for having directed and provided board-up work on more than 160 properties in Central Falls between 2007 and 2009.

November 14, 2012

Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Mass., the acting leader of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) crime family, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I. to 78 months in federal prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy to extort protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island.

November 9, 2012

The First Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a U.S. District Court jury’s conviction in March 2011 of Rocco P. DeSimone, 58, of Johnston, R.I., for conning several investors out of more than six million dollars in cash, tangible assets and forgiven debt, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

November 9, 2012

J. Juan Addison, 27, of Providence, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to 71 months in federal prison for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

November 8, 2012

In the aftermath of recent storm damage and flooding from Hurricane Sandy in Rhode Island, United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, the Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) remind the public of the potential for disaster fraud in the aftermath of a natural disaster. As Rhode Islanders prepare to receive federal assistance, it is important to note that the NCDF is the intake center for all disaster relief fraud. Therefore, if you observe that someone has submitted a fraudulent claim for disaster relief, or observe any other suspected fraudulent activities pertaining to the receipt of government funds as part of disaster relief or clean up, please contact the NCDF.

November 8, 2012

A federal grand jury in Providence on Wednesday returned an eight-count indictment charging Justin L. Worley, 33, with eight counts of bank robbery, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha

November 5, 2012

Adilson A. Reyes, 31, of Utah, one of three men arrested in January 2011 by federal, state and local law enforcement officers and agents during the seizure of 65 kilos of cocaine and more than 1.2 million dollars in cash in North Kingstown, was sentenced today to 135 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

November 5, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today reminded voters that his office and the local office of the FBI will lead efforts in Rhode Island with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the general elections tomorrow.  The United States Attorney’s Office and the local office of the FBI is prepared to receive and review complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

November 2, 2012

The Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) remind the public there is a potential for disaster fraud in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Suspected fraudulent activity pertaining to relief efforts associated with Hurricane Sandy should be reported to the toll-free NCDF hotline at 866-720-5721. The hotline is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the purpose of reporting suspected scams being perpetrated by criminals in the aftermath of disasters.

November 2, 2012

Prompted by information developed by Providence Police detectives during an on-going investigation into street-level drug dealing, a joint investigation by Providence Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force, consisting of federal, state and local law enforcement agents and officers, has resulted in the seizure of 19 kilos of heroin with a street value of approximately $4.5 million dollars. The on-going investigation and record seizure of pure heroin from the streets of Rhode Island has resulted in the arrest and detention of two individuals on federal charges.

October 2012

October 31, 2012

Robert O. Robinson, 30, of Woonsocket, the convicted organizer and leader of a crack cocaine trafficking conspiracy run out of a bar in Woonsocket, was sentenced today to a total of 264 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey; and Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Robinson was convicted by a federal court jury in June 2012 of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and ten counts of distribution of crack cocaine.

October 24, 2012

Manuel M. Chaves, 34, of Bristol, a career offender characterized by Bristol Police in a letter to the court as “a persistent problem for the community” and who is “among the most well-known and recognizable narcotics dealers in the community,” was sentenced today in federal court to 72 months in federal prison for trafficking cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Bristol Police Chief Josue D. Canario.

October 23, 2012

Anthony Cucinotta, 27, of Johnston, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Cucinotta, who was previously convicted in state court of a felony crime punishable by more than one year in prison, admitted to the court that he was in possession of two firearms and that he grew marijuana in his home which was intended for sale. He faces up to twenty-five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 31, 2013.

October 22, 2012

Frederick Burdick, 26, of Warwick, a career criminal previously arrested and convicted in state court more than two-dozen times, including numerous convictions for crimes of violence such as assault, domestic violence and drug trafficking, was sentenced today in federal court to 151 months in federal prison for the attempted robbery of a North Kingstown restaurant employee as she was preparing to deposit business proceeds into a bank night deposit box.

October 19, 2012

Theodore “Teddy” Cardillo, 69, an alleged associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), has agreed to plead guilty to a racketeering charge contained in a Second Superseding Indictment, according to a Plea Agreement filed today with the U.S. District Court in Providence.

October 19, 2012

Fritz Boutin, 33, of Providence, a career offender who was previously convicted on felony drug charges in state court on several occasions, was sentenced today in federal court to 144 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

October 19, 2012

Denis Quirke, 37, an Irish national, pleaded guilty in federal court today to falsely representing to the government that he was a U.S. citizen when he applied for a Rhode Island identification card from the R.I. Department of Motor Vehicles in December 2011, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Todd Ziccarelli, Special Agent in Charge of the New England field office of the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Service.

October 18, 2012

Audi Pineda, 38, of Pawtucket, was convicted by a federal court jury on Wednesday of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King; and Kevin L. Lane, Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

October 17, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced today that his office and the local office of the FBI will lead efforts in Rhode Island in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2012, general elections. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the District of Rhode Island and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

October 16, 2012

Denny Mendoza, 38, formerly of Providence, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Monday to failing to register as a sex offender, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth. Mendoza was charged with violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

October 15, 2012

Jose Fuentes, 41, of Providence, was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan following his initial appearance in federal court on a Criminal Complaint charging him with one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and distribution of heroin. Fuentes was arrested Friday, moments after he allegedly purchased a semi-automatic pistol from an undercover federal law enforcement agent in exchange for $100 in cash and one gram of heroin.

October 10, 2012

Alphonso D. Johnson, 38, of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and use and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, admitting to committing the armed robbery of a Providence convenience store clerk and of a Providence restaurant owner within 48 hours of one another.

October 9, 2012

Craig A. Carey, 43, of Fall River, Mass., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to federal conspiracy, bank robbery and firearm charges, admitting that he and a co-defendant bound and held employees of a West Greenwich, R.I., bank at gunpoint and robbed the bank of approximately $82,000 in May 2011.

October 8, 2012

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the federal court conviction and sentence of Robert S. Ciresi, 78, a former attorney and former North Providence town solicitor, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

October 5, 2012

Alejandro Liranzo-Sanchez, 45, a Dominican national, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr to 21 months in federal prison for illegally re-entering into the United States after being deported. He pleaded guilty on May 17, 2012.

October 1, 2012

Andrew Rios, 41, of California, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to federal drug trafficking charges in connection with the seizure of 65 kilos of cocaine and more than $1.2 million in cash in North Kingstown in January 2011, the largest cocaine seizure ever in Rhode Island.

September 2012

September 28, 2012

John J. McCauley, Jr., 54, of Cranston, the owner and co-operator of McCauley and L’Europa Public Adjusters, LLC and PIA Restoration, LLC, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns. McCauley’s business partner, William L’Europa, 47, of Cranston, pleaded guilty yesterday to the same federal charges. McCauley is scheduled to be sentenced on December 21, 2012. L’Europa is scheduled to be sentenced on December 20, 2012.

September 27, 2012

Gerald Silva, 57, of Coventry, R.I., was released to home confinement and electronic monitoring following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence today on a Criminal Complaint charging him with receipt of child pornography. Silva, a R.I. state probation officer assigned to the sex offender unit, was arrested following the execution of a federal court authorized search of his residence. Silva was charged as the result of an on-going investigation by federal agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service into the alleged sale and shipment of child pornography by a Toronto, Canada based company into the United States.

September 27, 2012

William L’Europa, 47, of Cranston, co-operator of McCauley and L’Europa Public Adjusters, LLC and PIA Restoration, LLC, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Providence to federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and filing false tax returns.

September 27, 2012

Neftali Melendez, 26, of Woonsocket, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court in Providence to federal firearms charges for illegally selling firearms during an undercover investigation by ATF and the Woonsocket Police Department into the trafficking of firearms in Woonsocket.

September 24, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today announced the appointment of Randy Katz, 37, to the position of Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Rhode Island. Katz, a native of Boston, previously served as an Assistant U. S. Attorney in the Economic Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, Florida, for more than seven years where he prosecuted significant bank fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud and mortgage fraud cases.

September 21, 2012

Jamie Britt, 33, of Woonsocket, a convicted level three sex offender who is required to register as a sex offender under both Rhode Island and Massachusetts law but failed to do so, was sentenced today in federal court in Providence to 30 months in prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Jamie A. Hainsworth, U.S. Marshal for the District of Rhode Island.

September 19, 2012

A Rhode Island man was arrested Wednesday on charges of trafficking counterfeit merchandise. The arrest follows a six-month investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Norman Cipriano, 40, of Warwick, R.I., was arrested without incident after HSI special agents executed a federal search warrant at his residence and discovered large quantities of suspected counterfeit sports apparel and counterfeit health and beauty products.

September 19, 2012

Central Falls Mayor Charles D. Moreau and longtime friend, businessman and political supporter Michael G. Bouthillette were charged in a two-count Information filed in federal court in Providence today with allegedly participating in a scheme in which the mayor accepted goods and services from Mr. Bouthillette in return for having directed and provided board-up work on at least 167 properties in Central Falls between 2007 and 2009. According to signed documents filed with the U.S. District Court, Moreau and Bouthillette have agreed to plead guilty to the federal charges.

September 14, 2012

John J. McCauley, Jr. 54, of Cranston, and William L’Europa, 47, of Cranston, owners and operators of McCauley and L’Europa Public Adjusters, LLC and PIA Restoration, LLC, were charged in documents filed in federal court today with conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns. According to plea agreements filed with the court, McCauley and L’Europa will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of filing false tax returns.

September 14, 2012

Messiah McGauley, 27, of Dorchester, MA, was sentenced to 57 months incarceration by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in federal court in Providence today. On June 25, 2012, McGauley pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

September 14, 2012

Devin Isom, 23, of Providence, was sentenced to 72 months incarceration by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi in federal court in Providence today. On June 26, 2012, Isom pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 28 or more grams of crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

September 13, 2012

Nathaniel Kelley, 26, of Newport,Vermont was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 100 months incarceration, by Chief District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi, for his role in the theft of 20 firearms from two firearms dealers in Vermont. His co-defendant, Anthony DeSanto, Jr., 33, of Morgan, Vermont, had been sentenced to 51 months incarceration by Chief Judge Lisi on May 31, 2012, for his role in the offense. They were each ordered to serve three years supervised release following their prison terms.

September 13, 2012

Nimara S. Seng, 21, of Providence, RI, was arrested earlier today and ordered detained following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., on a firearms charge.

September 13, 2012

Syed T. Shah, 44, of Lincoln, R.I., the former franchisee and owner of a Providence convenience store, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to five years probation, by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. Shah was ordered to serve the first six months in home confinement and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $648,000.

September 13, 2012

On September 12, 2012, after a three day trial, the defendant, Juan Colon, 22, of Providence, RI, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and marijuana trafficking by a federal court jury in Providence, RI. The charges resulted from an arrest made by the Providence Police on December 5, 2011. The defendant was arrested when the police executed a search warrant at his Providence residence. Police seized one loaded firearm as well as cocaine and marijuana from defendant’s residence, and two additional loaded guns from vehicles associated with the defendant.

September 13, 2012

Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Mass., the acting leader of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) crime family, pleaded guilty today for his role in a conspiracy to extort protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island, according to a signed plea agreement filed today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I.

September 12, 2012

Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Mass., the alleged boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) crime family, has agreed to plead guilty for his role in a conspiracy to extort protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island, according to a signed plea agreement filed today with the U.S. District Court in Providence. The change of plea hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. before District Court Judge William E. Smith.

September 7, 2012

On September 6, 2012, after a three day trial, the defendant, Charles Fermin, 29, of Providence, RI, was found guilty of cocaine and marihuana trafficking by a federal court jury in Providence, RI. The charges resulted from an arrest made by members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA) on January 6, 2012 in Providence, RI. When the defendant was arrested, he was wheeling a suitcase containing a loaded .357 Magnum revolver, 33 pounds of marihuana, over an ounce of cocaine, and drug trafficking paraphernalia. The defendant told arresting officers that he had just found the suitcase and was unaware of its contents.

September 7, 2012

Hector L. Rodriguez, 42, of Taunton, MA, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 240 months in federal prison for his receipt of 30 kilograms of cocaine at a warehouse in Pawtucket, R.I.

September 7, 2012

Robert Chace, 25 of East Providence, R.I., was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 51 months in federal prison for possession of more than 1200 images of child pornography.

August 2012

August 30, 2012

Paul N. Hutchinson, 29, a United Kingdom residing in Barrington, R.I., was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 60 months in federal prison and will face possible deportation for downloading from the Internet and storing approximately 5,800 images and 144 videos depicting child pornography.

August 27, 2012

A four-time convicted felon who allegedly helped orchestrate the straw-purchase of 10 firearms and a significant quantity of ammunition from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Wyoming, R.I., has been ordered detained on federal firearm charges. Peter A. Laporte, 47, of Warwick, was arrested on Thursday by federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as he exited the firearms dealer’s business.

August 23, 2012

Michael Collins, 39, of Coventry, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to selling 18 firearms and nearly 21 grams of cocaine to an ATF undercover agent posing as a Massachusetts resident.

August 21, 2012

A former orthopedic surgeon and a former orthopedic technician pleaded guilty and were sentenced in federal court in Providence today for participating in a conspiracy in which approximately 29,000 prescription pills obtained with fraudulent prescriptions written by the former doctor were distributed. The two men admitted that they provided fraudulent prescriptions to a number of individuals employed at Rhode Island Hospital who, in return, provided some of the pills to the defendants.

August 15, 2012

Thomas J. Flannery, 37, of Sunnyvale, CA, has been sentenced to 151 months in federal prison for the February 2011 robbery of a Pawtucket Credit Union branch office in Pawtucket, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King. Flannery pled guilty in federal court on May 14, 2012, to one count of bank robbery.

August 8, 2012

A federal grand jury in Providence today returned a three-count indictment charging Glen Matteson, 52, of Richmond, with receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography. The former Chariho High School assistant soccer coach also faces state charges of indecent solicitation of a child and possession of child pornography previously brought by Richmond Police.

August 7, 2012

Frederick Burdick, 25, of Warwick, faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the robbery at gunpoint of a North Kingstown restaurant employee who was attempting to deposit business proceeds into a bank night deposit box. Burdick pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to one count of Hobbs Act Robbery.

August 3, 2012

Craig A. Rich, 33, of Middletown, was sentenced today to 130 months in federal prison for robbing a Middletown hotel clerk at gunpoint in February 2011, shortly after he unsuccessfully attempted to rob two women at gunpoint a short distance away from the hotel.

August 2, 2012

A Warren man arrested in September 2011 during a Rhode Island State Police led roundup of 14 individuals identified as allegedly possessing and/or distributing child pornography pleaded guilty in federal court today to federal child pornography charges.

August 2, 2012

Eean Johnson, 32, of North Providence, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison on drug charges and for violating terms of his probation on a previous federal firearm conviction, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Johnson pleaded guilty on May 17, 2012, to one count each of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

August 2, 2012

Harold Moody, 47, of Providence, was ordered detained on Wednesday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on federal firearm and drug charges. Moody was arrested by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Providence Police on Tuesday, charged by way of a federal criminal complaint with felon in possession of a firearm, making false statements in connection with acquisition of a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

August 1, 2012

Louisa M. Knight, 43, was sentenced today to 120 months and one day in federal prison for setting fire to her Warwick, R.I., home in an arson-for-profit scheme, and fraudulently collecting more than $44,000 in insurance payments, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

August 1, 2012

James P. Perry, 35, of Pawtucket, faces up to 30 years in federal prison at sentencing having pleaded guilty today to federal drug and firearm charges. Perry was arrested by Pawtucket Police on March 15, 2012, during an undercover investigation into the trafficking of crack cocaine.

July 2012

July 30, 2012

Yashira Marrero, 27, of Providence, an administrative assistant for the 21st Century program at the Met School in Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to embezzling more than $27,000 of federal funds from the program, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

July 26, 2012

Albino “Albie” Folcarelli, 54, of Johnston, R.I., an admitted associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to serve 84 months in federal prison for his participation in an extortion conspiracy to extort $25,000 from a Rhode Island individual by using implied threats of violence, including visits to the individual’s place of employment and home.

July 26, 2012

A Providence man previously convicted for felony assault, burglary and witness intimidation, was sentenced today in federal court in Providence to 72 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. James Herring, 28, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

July 24, 2012

A gang member, who admitted to illegally trafficking firearms on the streets of Providence and to illegally selling firearms on four occasions to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) undercover agent, was sentenced today in federal court to 46 months in federal prison. The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., is the longest sentence recommended under Federal Sentencing Guidelines in this matter.

July 20, 2012

Juan Franco, 33, was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 70 months in federal prison for trafficking crack cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King.

July 19, 2012

A federal court jury in Providence on Wednesday convicted Rolando A. Rojas, 33, of Providence, with selling crack cocaine on three occasions to an undercover federal agent, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Boston Field Office.

July 13, 2012

Robert J. Hart, Jr., 50, of Cranston, R.I., a former United States Postal Service employee, was sentenced in federal court in Providence today to two years of probation, ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, and to make full restitution and write a personal letter of apology to each of the individuals identified by the court as being victims whose greeting cards Hart opened and removed the contents from in September and October 2011 while sorting mail in Providence.

June 2012

June 29, 2012

Jose Hernandez, 30, of Central Falls, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence on Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for trafficking crack cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Kevin L. Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey.

June 29, 2012

A federal grand jury in Providence, R.I., on Wednesday returned a two-count indictment charging a Chinese national with selling and importing counterfeit tobacco products into the United States from China, earmarked for Rhode Island. Lin Xiao Wei, 32, has been detained since his arrest in Miami on June 4, 2012, by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) Task Force from Rhode Island.

June 28, 2012

Mohamad Mohamad, 35, of Cambridge, Mass., a Syrian national, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 5 years probation, the first 12 months to be served in community confinement at the Coolidge House in Boston, for importing and selling millions of contraband cigarettes in Rhode Island. The cigarettes lacked required Rhode Island state tax stamps, and deprived Rhode Island of an estimated $506,000 in cigarette tax revenue.

June 27, 2012

Martin B. Feibish, 81, of Providence, R.I., an independent insurance agent and investment broker, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 5 years probation, the 12 months to be served in home confinement, for defrauding a Florida investor of approximately $5 million by perpetrating a self-contained Ponzi scheme and for filing a false tax return, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

June 27, 2012

Luis A. Perez, 29, formerly of Woonsocket and Providence, was sentenced today to 115 months in federal prison for trafficking heroin. Perez was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force in February 2012.

June 26, 2012

Devon Isom, 23, of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to possession with the intent to distribute 28 or more grams of crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

June 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced funding awards to over 220 cities and counties, aimed at creating or saving approximately 800 law enforcement positions. The grants will fund over 600 new law enforcement positions and save an additional 200 positions recently lost or in jeopardy of being cut due to local budget cuts. All new law enforcement positions funded in the COPS 2012 Hiring Program must be filled by recent military veterans who have served at least 180 days since September 11, 2001.

June 21, 2012

Robert O. Robinson, 30, of Woonsocket, convicted by a federal court jury on Wednesday of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and ten counts of distribution of crack cocaine, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi on September 20, 2012.

June 19, 2012

Isaiah Gasperini, 29, of Pawtucket, was ordered detained following an initial appearance in federal court in Providence today, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being in possession of a machine gun.

June 18, 2012

Notice was filed with the U.S. District Court in Providence today that the federal government intends to seek the death penalty in the matter of Jason W. Pleau, 34, of Providence, R.I., if convicted for his alleged participation in the conspiracy, and the armed robbery and shooting of David D. Main of Woonsocket, R.I. Specifically, the United States will seek a sentence of death for count three of the indictment against Pleau which charges the defendant with possessing, using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence that caused the death of David Main, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and (j).

June 13, 2012

Edward “Eddy” Lato, 65, of Providence, R.I., an admitted capo regime in the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 108 months in federal prison for participating in racketeering extortion conspiracies of several Rhode Island adult entertainment businesses and of a car salesman and his wife.

June 11, 2012

Two men have been sentenced to federal prison for trafficking benzylpiperazine, an Ecstasy-like schedule I drug, from Canada into New York and Rhode Island. Xavier Robert, 25, of Tring-Jonction, Quebec, was sentenced on Monday to 60 months in federal prison; Dennis Liriano, 49, of Providence, R.I., was sentenced on Monday to 80 months in federal prison.

June 7, 2012

Alfred “Chippy” Scivola, Jr., 71, of Johnston, R.I., an admitted member of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 46 months in federal prison for his participation in a racketeering and extortion conspiracy to shakedown Providence area adult entertainment businesses for protection money.

June 6, 2012

Saul Lemoi, 37, a former senior energy auditor with the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) in Cranston, R.I., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to charges of bribery and to lying to federal agents. Lemoi pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks of federal weatherization funds earmarked to make the homes of eligible low-income families more energy efficient, which were funneled to him through a company in which he had a financial interest.

June 5, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha has announced the appointment of Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland as Senior Litigation Counsel for the District of Rhode Island. Mr. Ferland, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office on May 1, 2010, after 20 years as a top state prosecutor, replaces former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Reich who retired on June 1, 2012, after 37 years with the Department of Justice.

June 1, 2012

Richard Bonafiglia, 58, of Providence, R.I., an admitted associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 84 months in federal prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy to shakedown several Rhode Island adult entertainment businesses for protection money.

May 2012

May 30, 2012

Shelton Smalls, 43, of Providence, convicted by a federal court jury in December 2011 on firearm and drug trafficking charges, was sentenced today to 132 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.

May 24, 2012

Erik F. Johansson, 49, of West Warwick, a registered caregiver under Rhode Island’s Medical Marijuana program administered by the Rhode Island Department of Health, was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and West Warwick Police Chief Colonel Richard G. Silva.

May 22, 2012

A New Jersey man with three previous State of New Jersey convictions for crimes against children, including child pornography and aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of thirteen, was convicted by a federal jury in Providence, R.I., today on charges of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual acts with an eight-year-old girl, aggravated sexual assault, enticement of a minor, and distribution of child pornography. Donald J. Jones, III, 48, of Pemberton, New Jersey, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in federal prison when he is sentenced on September 14, 2012, by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, was arrested by state and federal agents on April 8, 2011, after traveling by bus from Philadelphia to Providence, expecting to meet with the eight-year-old girl and her father. Jones communicated for nearly three weeks via the Internet and by phone with a person he believed was the girl’s father, when in fact he was communicating with federal agents assigned to the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

May 16, 2012

Eleven individuals arrested and detained last Thursday and Friday in an ongoing federal investigation into the trafficking of heroin in the greater Providence area were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges related to their alleged activity.

May 16, 2012

A former Rhode Island and Massachusetts mortgage attorney pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to defrauding mortgage holders and lending institutions of more than $600,000. David L. Spector, 52, of Needham, Mass., admitted that he used the funds to operate a Ponzi scheme. Spector’s guilty plea was announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

May 16, 2012

Syed T. Shah, 44, of Lincoln, R.I., the former franchisee and owner of a Providence convenience store, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) of nearly $650,000. Shah pleaded guilty to an Information which charges him with one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and one count of money laundering.

May 15, 2012

Louisa M. Knight, 43, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to setting fire to her Warwick, R.I., home on July 11, 2011, then fraudulently collecting nearly $42,000 in insurance payments in an arson-for-profit scheme, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

May 15, 2012

A disbarred real estate attorney from Pawtucket, R.I., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to twelve months and one day in prison and fined $25,000 for his role in a $1.1 million mortgage fraud scheme. James D. Levitt, 66, was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence and to pay $610,500 in restitution.

May 14, 2012

Eleven individuals were arrested on Thursday and Friday and ordered detained following initial appearances in U.S District Court in Providence, R.I., on drug and firearms charges resulting from an eight month federal law enforcement investigation into the trafficking of heroin into Rhode Island by an alleged Dominican organization with ties to Mexican drug cartels. The investigation is continuing.

May 11, 2012

Luigi “Louie” Manocchio, an admitted former boss and underboss of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison for his leadership of and participation in a racketeering and extortion conspiracy that demanded and received between $800,000 and $1.5 million in “protection” payments from several adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island from 1995-2009. Raymond R. “Scarface” Jenkins, an admitted associate of the NELCN, was also sentenced today to 37 months in prison for his admitted participation in a conspiracy to extort $25,000 from a Rhode Island individual and his wife by using implied threats of violence, including a visit to the individual’s residence.

May 9, 2012

“I am aware of reports that the Rhode Island Senate today passed amended legislation concerning the distribution by compassion centers of marijuana purportedly for medical purposes. To be clear, the policies and position of the Department of Justice on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana purportedly for medical use, have not changed. “As has been stated previously, and as I reiterated to the Governor and legislative leaders during a recent meeting, the Department has given guidance to U.S. Attorneys that prosecuting genuinely ill persons who use marijuana for medical purposes in compliance with state laws would not be an effective use of limited federal resources. At the same time, the Department’s guidance has also made clear that combating large-scale commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana remains a priority. Anyone engaging in such activities is subject to a variety of potential federal criminal and civil remedies, including forfeiture of the real estate where such centers or associated activities are located.”

May 7, 2012

“Today’s ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirms our position from the outset, that is, that the Governor does not have the right to prevent a defendant properly charged by a federal grand jury from appearing in federal court to face federal charges. We are prepared, as we have been since December of 2010 when the federal grand jury returned its indictment of Mr. Pleau, to move forward with this case.”

May 7, 2012

Paul F. Daly, Jr., 49, a former top criminal Rhode Island state prosecutor for twenty-two years, was formally sworn in today as an Assistant United States Attorney by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi. Several dozen of Daly’s family members, present and former colleagues, members of law enforcement and friends were present in the U.S. District Court when Chief Judge Lisi administered the oath.

May 7, 2012

Mario Perretta, 36, of Cranston, R.I., owner of M&M Ironworks in Providence, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 96 months in federal prison for bilking nearly two dozen investors in his company out of nearly $4.3 million, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston field office; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.

May 4, 2012

Jonathan Campbell, 41, formerly of Ashland, Mass., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 180 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. Campbell, an armed career criminal, who was previously convicted on three occasions in Massachusetts state courts of committing violent felonies, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on December 15, 2011, to one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

May 4, 2012

A Providence man convicted and sentenced on firearm charges in Rhode Island state court in 1999 has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Neary Prum, 31, was also sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi to serve 3 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

May 4, 2012

Joshua Holewka, 22, of Providence, arrested by Providence Police in June 2011 when a search of his residence resulted in the seizure of more than 570 grams of marijuana, cash and a loaded firearm, has been sentenced to 70 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

May 4, 2012

Albino “Albie” Folcarelli, 53, of Johnston, R.I., admitted today to being an associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) and to participating in an extortion conspiracy to extort $25,000 from a Rhode Island individual by using implied threats of violence, including visits to the individual’s place of employment and home. Folcarelli pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act extortion, and faces up to 20 years imprisonment when he is sentenced on July 26, 2012 by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith.

May 3, 2012

Kareem Williams, 36, of Providence, an armed career criminal convicted by a federal court jury in January 2012 of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, was sentenced today to 180 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Marco Palombo, Jr.

April 2012

April 27, 2012

Christian A. Rufino, 42, of Brewster, N.Y., an admitted member of the New Roc (New York) chapter of the Hells Angels, was sentenced Thursday to 180 months in federal prison followed by 5 years of supervised release on a federal firearm charge, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Marco Palombo, Jr.

April 27, 2012

Patrick Sullivan, 51, of Providence, RI, formerly a registered financial advisor, has been sentenced to twenty-one months in federal prison for converting more than $450,000 of investors’ funds for his own personal and business use, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

April 26, 2012

A federal grand jury in Providence, RI, returned a 37-count indictment today charging Ralph Mariano, 54, of South Arlington, VA, a civilian engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Newport, RI, and Washington DC, and his father, Ralph Mariano, Jr., 70, of North Providence, RI, in connection with an alleged 15-year bribery and fraud conspiracy involving approximately $10 million of Naval funds.

April 25, 2012

Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Mass., the alleged leader of the New England organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was ordered detained today following his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., on racketeering and extortion charges. A sealed indictment returned on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, and unsealed today, alleges, among other things, that Dinunzio and other leaders, members and associates of the NELCN extorted protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island.

April 24, 2012

Russell Cartagena, 29, of Providence, a member of the Latin Kings street gang, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 71 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

April 19, 2012

Benjamin Fry, 32, of Fall River, Mass., was sentenced today to 51 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Boston Field Office.

April 19, 2012

Russell E. Spencer, 57, of Portsmouth, R.I., a sub-contractor who pleaded guilty in June 2011 to being the conduit for alleged kickbacks of naval funds from Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT), of Middletown, R.I., and Roswell, GA, to Ralph Mariano, an engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Providence to lying to the FBI during the investigation into the kickback scheme.

April 17, 2012

A Providence, R.I., man today became the second city man in less than a week to be sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration in federal prison on federal firearms charges, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Carlos Vazquez, a/k/a “Crazy Carlos,” 42, of Providence, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for trafficking in firearms, ammunition and drugs. Vazquez pleaded guilty in January 2012 to an eleven-count federal indictment. He was arrested on September 16, 2011.

April 13, 2012

Dwayne M. Taylor, 28, of Providence, was sentenced Thursday to 120 months in federal prison, the statutory maximum sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

April 11, 2012

Martin B. Feibish, 81, of Providence, R.I., an independent insurance agent, investment broker, and creator of two investment companies, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to defrauding a Florida investor out of approximately $5 million by perpetrating a self-contained “Ponzi Scheme,” announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Feibish also pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

April 11, 2012

A Taunton, Mass., man faces up to life in federal prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, after pleading guilty Tuesday in federal court in Providence to trafficking 30 kilos of cocaine. Hector L. Rodriguez, 42, was arrested in Pawtucket, R.I., in September 2011, after Pawtucket Police discovered the cocaine stored in a hidden compartment in his vehicle.

April 10, 2012

Kenneth Brooks, 31, of Providence, R.I., declared by the court to being an armed career criminal, was sentenced today to 180 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

April 9, 2012

Russell Spencer, 57, of Portsmouth, R.I., a sub-contractor who admitted in U.S. District Court in Providence in June 2011 to being the conduit for alleged kickbacks of naval funds from Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT), of Middletown, R.I., and Roswell, GA, to Ralph Mariano, an engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), has agreed to plead guilty to allegedly lying to the FBI on three occasions during the investigation into the kickback scheme. Mariano, 53, of Arlington, VA, has been charged by way of a criminal complaint with receiving a bribe as a public official.

April 2, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Kathleen Martin-Weis, Acting Director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA/OCI), announced today that the distribution of $500 million forfeited by the online search engine Google Inc., for allowing online Canadian pharmacies to place advertisements through its AdWords advertising program targeting consumers in the United States, resulting in the unlawful importation of controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States, has been approved.

March 2012

March 22, 2012

A United States Postal Service employee pled guilty in federal court in Providence today to stealing cash from greeting cards sent through the mail, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Jane Hughes, Special Agent in Charge of the northeast area United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG).

March 22, 2012

Vorking Regaldo, 24, of Providence, R.I., faces up to 20 years in federal prison for trafficking in heroin after pleading guilty on Wednesday in federal court in Providence to trafficking heroin. Regaldo was arrested in East Greenwich on September 29, 2011, by East Greenwich Police and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force after being found to be in possession of nearly three-dozen bags of heroin.

March 15, 2012

Paul F. Daly, Jr., a top criminal Rhode Island state prosecutor for twenty-two years, has been appointed to the position of Assistant United States Attorney by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. A former Criminal Division Chief; Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit; and Senior Trial Counsel, coordinating and overseeing the investigation and prosecution of high profile felony cases with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, Daly, 48, has been assigned by U.S. Attorney Neronha to a team of federal prosecutors who are primarily focused on prosecuting organized crime, drug and firearm cases. He joined the United States Attorney’s Office on March 13, 2012.

March 5, 2012

A Los Angeles, California, woman who pled guilty in federal court in Providence in September 2011 to defrauding a Rhode Island bank of more than $13,000 by stealing the identity of a bank customer and using it to withdraw funds from the customer’s account has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Thomas M. Powers, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King.

March 5, 2012

"The policies and position of the Department of Justice on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana purportedly for medical use, have not changed. Therefore, we have not nor do we intend to review or discuss legislation on this topic which, according to media reports, was recently submitted for consideration by the Rhode Island Legislature. To be clear, at no time has there been any contact or communication between any state official and this Office concerning any such legislation.”

March 5, 2012

A registered caregiver under Rhode Island’s Medical Marijuana program administered by the Rhode Island Department of Health pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Friday to a federal charge of cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

February 2012

February 27, 2012

Martin B. Feibish, 81, of Providence, an independent insurance agent, investment broker, and creator of two investment companies, has signed an agreement filed with the U.S. District Court in Providence to plead guilty to federal charges of defrauding an investor by perpetrating a self-contained “Ponzi Scheme” on one victim, and for filing a false tax return, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

February 21, 2012

The owner and operator of a Rhode Island metals salvage firm has pled guilty in federal court in Providence to failing to report to the Internal Revenue Service over $818,000 of income between 2005 through 2007 and failing to pay more than $147,000 in federal taxes, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

February 17, 2012

Sonja Ascoli, 59, of Woonsocket, R.I., pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to defrauding the federal Medicare program of more than $70,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

February 17, 2012

Amauris Luciano, 22, of Providence, was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin; possession with the intent to distribute heroin; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi also ordered Luciano to serve three years of supervise release following his prison term.

February 16, 2012

David Crisostomi, 36, of East Providence, R.I., was ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond today on federal charges of manufacturing, possessing and distributing child pornography, it was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office.

February 16, 2012

A 41-year-old Providence, R.I, man who admitted to a federal district court judge in Providence that he has been selling illegal drugs since the age of fourteen, was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell also sentenced Jessie Sanders, III, to a term of supervised release of three years.

February 16, 2012

Bernard Tribble, 41, of Warwick, R.I., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi to 30 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and to a consecutive sentence of five months in prison for violating the terms of supervised release from a previous drug and firearm conviction, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

February 16, 2012

Five Rhode Island men identified as leaders or associates of the New England organized crime family of the La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) have agreed to plead guilty to racketeering related charges, according to documents filed today with the U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I.

February 14, 2012

Pablo Marino Chala, 46, of Woonsocket, R.I., faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison followed by a minimum of four years of supervised release when he is sentenced in May, after pleading pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to trafficking crack cocaine. Chala’s drug dealing activities were targeted as part of a long-term joint Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force and Woonsocket Police investigation into drug trafficking in Woonsocket.

February 13, 2012

Rhode Island Hospital will reimburse federal health care programs approximately $2.6 million dollars and will pay the federal government approximately $2.7 million in double and triple damages for ordering medically unnecessary overnight patient hospital stays and then submitting claims for payment to federally funded Medicare and Medicaid programs.

February 10, 2012

Gary Winner, 50, of Northbrook, Ill., owner of Planned Eldercare, a nationwide supplier of durable medical equipment located in Buffalo Grove, Ill., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 37 months in federal prison for defrauding the Medicare program of more than $2.2 million, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

February 9, 2012

Mohamad Mohamad, 35, of Cambridge, Mass., a Syrian national, admitted in federal court in Providence, R.I., today to importing and selling millions of contraband cigarettes. The cigarettes lacked required Rhode Island tax stamps. It is estimated that the contraband cigarettes deprived Rhode Island of an estimated $506,000 in cigarette tax revenue.

February 9, 2012

Luis A. Perez, 29, of Providence, was ordered detained Thursday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin during an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence on a federal complaint charging him with possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Perez was arrested early Thursday morning by agents from the DEA Drug Task Force and members of the Rhode Island State Police SWAT team.

February 9, 2012

A 21-year-old Providence man, previously convicted in Rhode Island state court for drug trafficking, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 37 months in federal prison on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi also sentenced Rashad Muskelly to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his federal prison sentence.

February 9, 2012

Anthony Reid, 25, of Providence, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 46 months in federal prison, having pled guilty in January to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi also sentenced Reid to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his federal prison sentence.

February 6, 2012

Abel Perez, 30, of Cranston, faces up to 45 years in federal prison for trafficking in heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm, and an additional minimum mandatory consecutive sentence of five years in prison for use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, having pled guilty to those charges on Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence. Perez was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force agents in September 2011.

February 6, 2012

A Cranston, R.I., man, previously convicted in state court and incarcerated on drug trafficking and firearm charges, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 76 months in federal prison on unrelated federal drug trafficking charges. Jeffrey Batres, 29, was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to serve 3 years of supervised release upon his release from federal prison.

February 2, 2012

A former Rhode Island man has been ordered detained in Michigan on a federal charge of failure to pay child support in Rhode Island brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island. Stephen J. Swallow, 47, of Buckley, Michigan, was arrested on Wednesday by federal agents from the Detroit field office of the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court in Providence. It is alleged that Swallow owes nearly $300,000 in back child support payments for his four children dating back to March 1999, as ordered by the Rhode Island Family Court.

February 1, 2012

Former R.I. attorney James D. Levitt, 66, pled guilty in federal court in Providence today to three counts of bank fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns for his role in a million dollar mortgage fraud scheme. Levitt faces up to 96 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $3.3 million dollars when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on April 19, 2012.

January 2012

January 31, 2012

Mario Perretta, 36, of Cranston, R.I., owner of M&M Ironworks in Providence, pled guilty in federal court in Providence today to eight counts of wire fraud and two counts of tax evasion in a fraud scheme that bilked investors in his company out of approximately $4.2 million. Perretta admitted to the court that he promised inventors high rates of return on investments into projects that did not exist. Instead, Perretta admitted, he spent the majority of money for gambling purposes, to purchase personal items and to pay for personal expenses.

January 31, 2012

Kareem Williams, 36, of Providence, faces a minimum mandatory fifteen years and up to life in federal prison after a U.S. District Court jury in Providence found him guilty Thursday of being a felon in possession of firearms and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Williams, a career criminal, was previously convicted in state court of five felonies, including two for drug trafficking and one for robbery.

January 2012

January 27, 2012

A Providence man and woman arrested a short time after robbing a Warwick bank and then fleeing in a taxi have pled guilty to federal bank robbery charges announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney, and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office.

January 27, 2012

A Pawtucket, R.I., man arrested twice within five months on child pornography charges was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 84 months in federal prison. Robert L. MacGregor, 49, was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to a life term of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence. MacGregor was among 20 people arrested in August 2010 on child pornography charges as the result of an investigation by the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

January 26, 2012

Louis R. Peters III, 22, of West Topsham, Vt., pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Wednesday to his participation in the armed robbery of a West Greenwich, R.I., bank on May 28, 2011. Employees were bound and held at gunpoint as they readied the bank to be opened for business. Peters faces up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 13, 2012, having plead guilty to charges of conspiracy, bank robbery and use of a firearm in relation to the commission of a bank robbery.

January 26, 2012

Sonethanong Khongsouvankhamn, 33, of Woonsocket, R.I., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 120 months in federal prison for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and manufacturing counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi also ordered Khongsouvankhamn to serve five years of supervised release upon his release from federal prison.

January 25, 2012

Carlos Vazquez, a/k/a “Crazy Carlos,” 42, of Providence, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to an eleven-count federal indictment charging him with trafficking firearms, ammunition and crack cocaine. An investigation from March 2010 to July 2011 by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Providence Police into Vazquez’s and others activities in the Chad Brown Housing Project in Providence included the purchase and seizure of more than a dozen firearms, ammunition and drugs. One of the firearms was linked to the shooting of a Providence woman in March 2011.

January 25, 2012

Jose Vasquez, 38, of Woonsocket, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine. Vasquez was arrested in October 2011 during a DEA Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into drug trafficking in Woonsocket. The investigation in the summer of 2010 resulted in the arrest of six individuals in separate cases on various drug related charges, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Kevin L. Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

January 24, 2012

A Woonsocket, R.I., woman who allegedly promised custom fit shoes for diabetics and medical equipment for arthritis sufferers “at no cost” to Medicare beneficiaries at Rhode Island senior centers, housing complexes and assisted living centers, has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding Medicare of more than $70,000, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

January 24, 2012

Kenneth Aurecchia, 63, of Johnston, R.I., a former regional vice president of the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to wire fraud and tax charges. Aurecchia admitted that he fraudulently received more than $100,000 from various union and non-union entities by obtaining duplicate expense reimbursements, and that he failed to pay nearly $18,000 in federal taxes. Aurecchia was charged by way of an Information on December 1, 2011.

January 23, 2012

Domingo A. Lopez, 51, of Providence, president of Espaillat Motors Inc., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 18 months in federal prison for money laundering in connection with the cash sale of used vehicles to an individual purporting that they would be used for drug trafficking and agreeing to report the sale price of the vehicles for less than the actual sale price in order to avoid detection.

January 17, 2012

A United Kingdom national pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to downloading from the Internet and then storing approximately 5,800 images and videos of child pornography while living and working in Rhode Island. Paul N. Hutchinson, 28, of Barrington, R.I., faces between 5 to 30 years imprisonment; between 5 years to lifetime supervised release; and a fine of $500,000 when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith on April 6, 2012.

January 17, 2012

A Pawtucket, R.I., man arrested in June 2010 as the result of an investigation by the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force into the downloading of child pornography, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to possession of child pornography.

January 17, 2012

Two individuals arrested by Cranston Police and DEA Task Force members, with the assistance of the Rhode Island State Police, as a result of an investigation into the alleged theft of three firearms from a Cranston residence, made initial appearances in U.S. District Court on Thursday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin.

January 16, 2012

Three Rhode Island men were sentenced to federal prison on Friday in unrelated cases in which the defendants were found to be in possession of a loaded firearm while on the streets of Providence, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.

January 12, 2012

A federal district court judge in Providence, R.I., has sentenced the owner of a Newport, R.I., jewelry store to three years probation and fined her $15,000 for willfully filing a false individual tax return, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.

January 9, 2012

A Providence man arrested by Providence Detectives after a court authorized search of his apartment resulted in the seizure of more than a kilo of marijuana and a loaded firearm was sentenced on Friday to 77 months in federal prison on federal drug and firearm charges.

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