U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
March 27, 2013
Providence Felon Pleads Guilty to Drug, Firearm Charges
Loaded firearm, crack cocaine found stashed among children’s toys
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to drug and firearm charges could face up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 18, 2013. Henry Lee, 30, was arrested by Providence Police on November 3, 2011, after they discovered crack cocaine and a loaded firearm stashed among children’s toys in Lee’s Providence apartment. A bullet proof vest was also seized from a kitchen closet.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr, Lee pleaded guilty to one count each of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and being a felon in possession of body armor.
Lee’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.
According to information presented to the court, investigators assigned to the Providence Police Department’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureau culminated an investigation into Lee’s drug dealing activities with the execution of a court authorized search of Lee’s residence on November 3, 2011. During the search, investigators discovered several plastic bags containing various amounts and weights of crack cocaine and marijuana stashed in a nightstand drawer in a room with children’s toys. The officers also discovered a loaded .380 caliber handgun and a bag of ammunition stashed inside a “Girl Gourmet” toy cupcake mixer box. Investigators also seized a bullet proof vest from a kitchen closet.
According to information presented to the court, Lee is an armed career criminal who has two prior convictions for serious drug offenses and a conviction for a crime of violence. As an armed career criminal having been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, Lee faces up to the maximum statutory penalties of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, a $250,000 fine and a term of 5 years of supervised release. Possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine and 3 years to life supervised release. Maximum statutory penalties for being a felon in possession of body armor are 3 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 1 year supervised release.
If imposed consecutively, the maximum penalties for all offenses to which Lee pleaded guilty are life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of 15 years imprisonment, a fine of $1,500,000, and supervised release for life.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin.
The matter was investigated by the Providence Police Department with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.