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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

October 17, 2013

Bristol Man Who Admitted to Stealing More Than a Dozen Firearms

Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – David Welch, 42, of Bristol, who admitted to a federal court judge that he stole more than a dozen firearms from a Rhode Island residence, was sentenced on October 1, 2013, to 120 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Welch to serve 3 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. In July, Welch pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, admitting to the court that in December 2012 he broke into a Portsmouth, R.I., home and stole more than a dozen firearms.

At the time of his guilty plea, Welch admitted that five firearms, a revolver and four semi-automatic handguns, seized by law enforcement from his residence during a court authorized search on December 27, 2012, were among the firearms stolen from the Portsmouth home. Welch admitted that he stole the firearms for the purpose of selling some or all of them. Welch admitted that prior to his arrest he had already sold or transferred several of the stolen firearms. Two of those firearms were later recovered by law enforcement.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

The matter was investigated by the Portsmouth, Bristol, Newport and North Kingstown Police Departments and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at


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