U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 25, 2012
Long Time Felon Pleads Guilty in Federal/City Probe into Firearms Trafficking in Providence
16-month federal investigation at Chad Brown Housing Project removed
more than a dozen firearms, ammunition and drugs from Providence streets
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – 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.
The investigation and Vazquez’s guilty plea were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of ATF; and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.
At today’s change-of-plea hearing, Vazquez admitted that he sold nine firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and narcotics to an undercover federal agent who had been posing as a person who needed guns to engage in illegal conduct including home invasions, drug dealing, and retaliatory shootings. All of the transactions were audio and/or video-recorded.
Among the firearms that Vasquez admitted to the court that he sold to the undercover federal agent was one that was used to shoot and wound a Providence woman on March 16, 2011. Vazquez admitted to the court that he sold the pistol to the federal agent for $650 two days after the shooting.
At the time of the investigation, Vazquez was living and operating out of an apartment at the Chad Brown Housing Project leased to another person. Because of his extensive criminal record the defendant was otherwise ineligible to reside in public housing.
Vazquez faces maximum sentences of 115 years in federal prison and 33 years of supervised release when he is sentenced on April 13, 2012, by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith. Vasquez’s past criminal record includes 34 arrests and felony convictions for drugs, larceny, and breaking and entering.
In a separate case stemming from the same investigation, Trini Fuentes, 33, of Providence, was charged in a four-count federal indictment with allegedly selling four firearms to an undercover federal agent. Fuentes, who entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, is detained while awaiting trial.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin and Richard W. Rose.