U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 17, 2011
Two Face Federal Firearm Charges in Firearms Seizure in Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – 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.
Charlene DeCosta, 34, of Providence, was ordered released to home confinement and electronic monitoring on one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Derrick King, 23, of Cranston, was ordered detained on one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
The arrest and initial appearance of Charlene DeCosta and Derrick King were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Marco Palombo, Jr.
According to an affidavit in support of criminal complaints against King and DeCosta filed with the court, Cranston police initiated an investigation on January 10, 2012, into the alleged theft of three firearms from a private residence. According to the affidavit, police received information that King, who had outstanding state warrants, allegedly may have been involved in the theft. According to the affidavit, after being arrested by Cranston Police on the outstanding warrants, King admitted to police that he had stolen the firearms from the home and had provided them to DeCosta in exchange for drugs.
According to the affidavit, DeCosta was located and detained, and subsequently provided information to law enforcement that the firearms allegedly provided to her by King were stored in her Providence residence. According to the affidavit, DeCosta accompanied law enforcement to her residence where a total of four firearms were seized, including the three allegedly stolen in Cranston. According to the affidavit, DeCosta told investigators that the fourth firearm had been provided to her by a friend for protection.
A criminal complaint 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 matter, which was investigated by Cranston Police and the DEA Task Force, with the assistance of Rhode Island State Police, is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gerard B. Sullivan and Sandra R. Hebert.