U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
October 1, 2012
Providence Felon Arrested, Detained After Allegedly Purchasing Firearm from Undercover Federal Agent for Cash and Heroin
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Jose Fuentes, 41, of Providence, was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan following his initial appearance in federal court on a Criminal Complaint charging him with one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and distribution of heroin. Fuentes was arrested Friday, moments after he allegedly purchased a semi-automatic pistol from an undercover federal law enforcement agent in exchange for $100 in cash and one gram of heroin.
Fuentes arrest and detention was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Boston field office; Kevin L. Lane, Special Agent in Charge of the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Cranston Police Chief Colonel Marco Palombo, Jr.; and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.
According to an Affidavit in support of a Criminal Complaint filed with the court, Fuentes, who was previously convicted and sentenced to state prison on felony drug, larceny and assault charges, told agents that he purchased the firearm for protection because he had recently been shot at and robbed. According to the Affidavit, Fuentes told agents that he was a heroin dealer, and that he got into a dispute with one of his heroin customers who pulled a gun on him.
Fuentes was arrested moments after he allegedly purchased the firearm from an undercover ATF agent while they sat in a vehicle in a parking lot in Cranston.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen G. Dambruch and Paul F. Daly, Jr. The case was investigated by law enforcement agents and officers from ATF, DEA, the Cranston Police Department and the Providence Police Department.
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.