U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 26, 2012
Woonsocket Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking, Firearm and Counterfeiting Charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – 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.
Khongsouvankhamn’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey; Thomas M. Powers, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Boston Field Office; and Kevin L. Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Khongsouvankhamn was arrested on state charges by Woonsocket Police on March 11, 2011 and detained. Khongsouvankhamn pled not guilty in federal court on March 25, 2011, to a nine-count federal indictment returned by a grand jury two days earlier. Khongsouvankhamn pled guilty in federal court on September 26, 2011, to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and manufacturing counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes.
According to information presented to the court, on March 11, 2011, Woonsocket Police executed a state court authorized search warrant at Khongsouvankhamn’s residence where, in various locations, police discovered 57.3 grams of crack cocaine; 47.8 grams of powder cocaine; 1,500 grams of marijuana; a 44 Magnum handgun with 26 rounds of ammunition; $3,641 in cash; and several bags containing a total of $24,080 of counterfeit currency. Inside a computer room, detectives also located a color printer and boxes of paper used for making counterfeit currency.
According to information presented to the court, Khongsouvankhamn admitted to law enforcement that he had been selling drugs since November 2010 and that he obtained the firearm by trading for drugs. Khongsouvankhamn also admitted that he made the counterfeit bills and that he had provided them to a friend. He denied passing the bills.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
The matter was investigated by Woonsocket Police; U.S. Secret Service; ATF; and DEA.