U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
October 23, 2012
Johnston Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms, Drug Trafficking Charges
Anthony Cucinotta faces up to twenty-five years in federal prison
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – 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.
Cucinotta’s guilty plea was announced by 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.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, Cucinotta admitted that on November 25, 2011, he accompanied his girlfriend to a gun shop in Rhode Island where they selected two firearms for purchase, a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Bushmaster .223 caliber military assault style rifle. Cucinotta told the dealer that there was no legal reason why he could not possess firearms. Cucinotta, nonetheless, had his girlfriend complete the paperwork for the transaction. In addition, Cucinotta had his girlfriend purchase a 100 round ammunition magazine for the rifle. On later dates, Cucinotta admitted to an employee of the gun shop and to an ATF agent that the firearms were his.
According to information presented to the court, on February 14, 2012, ATF agents conducted a court authorized search of Cucinotta’s home, which resulted in the seizure of the Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, twenty-one marijuana plants, and items used in the packaging and sale of marijuana. Cucinotta had previously turned the rifle over to an employee of the gun store, who, at the request of ATF, led Cucinotta to believe that the weapon may be defective. The rifle was never returned to Cucinotta despite several calls to the dealer by Cucinotta seeking its return.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Milind M. Shah, Stephen G. Dambruch and Paul F. Daly, Jr.
The matter was investigated by ATF, with the assistance of Johnston Police.