U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 19, 2012
Convicted Felon Charged with Possession of Machine Gun
Pawtucket man arrested by Providence Police after 3 am report of gunshots on Doyle Avenue
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – 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.
According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed with the court, Providence Police received a report of shots fired on Doyle Avenue around 3 am on Tuesday. As an officer in a marked cruiser approached the area, he witnessed a vehicle leaving the area and failing to stop at a stop sign. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle; however it continued onto Rte 95 and traveled into Pawtucket. The vehicle came to a stop as it exited Rte 95 in Pawtucket and crashed into a truck.
As the officer approached the vehicle, Gasperini allegedly fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended and arrested following a brief struggle. Additional officers responded to the area and recovered a loaded .9mm machine gun a short distance from the vehicle, and 91 rounds of ammunition, duct tape, gloves and a ski mask from inside the vehicle.
Gasperini’s arrest was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha who commented, “The allegations in the affidavit in this case are extremely serious. There should be no doubt that this office and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to work with Providence Police to investigate and prosecute serious gun crimes.”
According to the affidavit, at the time of his arrest, Gasperini was on federal supervised release. In January 2003, Gasperini was convicted in U.S. District Court of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced by Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi to 110 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
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 was investigated by Providence Police with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.