U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
October 10, 2012
Providence Felon Pleads Guilty to Hobbs Act Robberies, Federal Firearms Charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Alphonso D. Johnson, 38, of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and use and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, admitting to committing the armed robbery of a Providence convenience store clerk and of a Providence restaurant owner within 48 hours of one another.
Johnson’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Johnson admitted to the court that on April 18, 2011, he robbed a Providence convenience store clerk at gunpoint of several hundred dollars in cash, cigarettes and a box of cigars. Johnson also admitted that two days later he robbed and assaulted a West End restaurant owner at gunpoint of more than $4,300 in cash.
According to information presented to the court, Johnson kicked and struck the owner of the restaurant twice in the face with a .25 caliber pistol, took her purse containing cash receipts from her restaurant and fled on foot. Providence Police officers quickly canvased the neighborhood and located Johnson hiding between two parked cars a few blocks away. After a brief foot chase and struggle, Johnson was apprehended.
Johnson, who has been detained since his arrest, faces a maximum sentence of up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 7, 2013.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.
The matter was investigated by the Providence Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.