News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

2014: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sep | Oct |

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Note: To request a specific press release issued prior to September 2009 please contact USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

October 2014

October 20, 2014

Warren Hebert, 67, of Barrington, R.I., owner of Checkmaster Payroll Services, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to defrauding seven businesses and the Seekonk, Mass., Water District of more than $1.2 million dollars in federal payroll taxes that were to have been paid to the IRS, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.

October 17, 2014

Damon Graham, 34, formerly of Narragansett, was sentenced today to 186 months in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine, and for being a felon in possession of firearms. His wife, Ashley Sekator-Graham, 31, was sentenced on August 14, 2014, to 48 months in federal prison for her role in the trafficking of cocaine and crack cocaine in South Kingstown and Narragansett.

October 15, 2014

Coalatta A. Cooper, 55, of Providence, will be summonsed to U.S. District Court in Providence, on a date to be determined by the court, to answer to a civil violation charging her with disturbance on federal property, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

October 9, 2014

Wissam Khalil, 41, of Central Falls, R.I., and his brother, Bassam Nazir Khalil 49, of Pawtucket, R.I., were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today for their roles as leaders of a complex interstate conspiracy that transported more than 6 million contraband cigarettes from Virginia to Rhode Island. The sale of the contraband cigarettes in Rhode Island resulted in the loss to the State of nearly $1.1 million dollars in tax stamp revenue.

October 9, 2014

Daniel Berger, 28, of Haskell, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 87 months in federal prison for travelling interstate for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a 13-year old female, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI; Portsmouth, R.I., Police Chief Thomas F. Lee; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

October 6, 2014

Roberts Chemical Company, Inc. of Attleboro, Mass., was fined $200,000 and placed on probation for five years today by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., for violating the Clean Air Act. The company failed to develop and implement a Risk Management Plan (RMP) to minimize the chance of release of ethyl ether from its former Pawtucket, R.I., facility, and to protect workers, the community and emergency and first responders in the event of a release or fire involving ethyl ether. EPA regulations require a company’s RMP to include a “worst case” response plan.

October 3, 2014

Philip DeBartolo, 29, of Scituate, pled guilty in federal court in Providence today to being a felon in possession of 12 firearms and to drug trafficking charges, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field division of ATF; Scituate Police Chief Colonel David M. Randall; and Michael Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New England field division.

October 3, 2014

U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith today sentenced Andrew A. Calcione, 49, of Cranston, to 12 months and one day in federal prison for threatening to assault and murder an IRS agent and his family, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; and Robert E. O’Malley, Special Agent in Charge, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, New York Field Division.

October 3, 2014

Joseph F. Kilty, 53, of Wakefield, R.I., a former authorized dealer of a Sears Hometown and Outlet, Inc. store in Middletown, R.I., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 3 years of probation, the first six months to be served in home confinement, for defrauding Sears of more than $154,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

October 2, 2014

Graviel Santos, 32, of Pawtucket, was sentenced on Wednesday to 84 months in federal prison on drug trafficking and firearm charges, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King.

October 1, 2014

A federal grand jury in Providence, R.I., on Tuesday returned a one-count indictment charging Alan Bradley, 53, of Newport, R.I., with operating a motor vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others resulting in the death of another person.

September 2014

September 26, 2014

Paul F. Pytko, 49, owner of Pytko Construction Corp. in North Smithfield, R.I., was sentenced today to 3 years probation, to include 20 weekends of incarceration at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, for concealing the sale of a company asset that he agreed to sell in order to satisfy taxes owed to the IRS, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

September 26, 2014

Court documents unsealed in federal court in Providence today reveal an alleged scheme by the owners and operators of NBP Multiservices (NBP), a tax preparation business in Cranston, R.I., to steal personal identifying information of minors named as dependents on legitimate tax returns their company prepared and selling the information to other tax filers for use on their tax returns in order to increase tax refunds, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation; and Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service.

September 26, 2014

David Lasseque, 33, of Providence, convicted of being the getaway driver during the armed robbery of a Barrington, R.I., bank in July 2013, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 140 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Barrington Police Chief John M. LaCross, East Providence Police Chief Christopher J. Parella and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

September 25, 2014

Lawrence M. Sullivan, 38, was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond, charged with allegedly robbing a branch office of the Washington Trust Company in Westerly on September 15, 2014, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Westerly Police Chief Edward W. St. Clair.

September 24, 2014

Today the U.S. Marshals Service celebrates its 225th anniversary. As the nation’s oldest, most versatile federal law enforcement agency, it continues to build on its legacy of steadfast service and its unique position in the country’s federal justice system.

September 21, 2014

Eleven individuals have been convicted in federal court and sentenced, and six Providence area convenience stores have been disqualified from participating in the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), concluding a more than two-year federal investigation that uncovered $3.6 million dollars in food stamp fraud by numerous convenience store owners and employees. Sentences imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi include court orders that the defendants pay full restitution of stolen government funds to the food stamp program.

September 16, 2014

Yvener Jean-Baptiste, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Monday to using counterfeit credit cards with account numbers belonging to actual credit card owners to purchase $172,661.09 in Target and Wal-Mart store gift cards at Rhode Island stores in November 2013, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; and Lincoln Police Chief Brian W. Sullivan.

September 15, 2014

Andrew Jeremiah, 78, and his brother, Bruce Jeremiah, 72, of Cranston, R.I., owners and operators of Jeremiah Motors Corp., and Removal Services and Green Energy, in Central Falls, R.I., have pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence to conspiring to sell and transport used cooking oil stolen from restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to a processing plant in New Hampshire for processing to animal feed and biofuel.

September 15, 2014

Pierre S. Rheau, 34, of Providence, was sentenced on Friday to 63 months in federal prison for robbing a Barrington branch office of Bank of America while armed with a BB gun, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Barrington Police Chief John M. LaCross, East Providence Police Chief Christopher J. Parella and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

September 15, 2014

Benjamin J. Daniels, 37, of West Bountiful, Utah, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to participating in a conspiracy to ship 239 pounds of marijuana to Rhode Island from Pennsylvania in December 2013, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Michael S. Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England.

September 14, 2014

Donald S. Gingerella, 53, of Westerly, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Friday to theft of government funds and Social Security fraud, after an investigation revealed that since January 2008, Gingerella collected nearly $83,000 from various federally funded public assistance programs to which he was not entitled. He faces statutory penalties of up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on December 11, 2014.

September 12, 2014

Donald J. Jones, III, 50, of Pemberton, N.J., was sentenced on Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 50 years in federal prison, having been convicted at trial in May 2012, on charges of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual acts with a minor, aggravated sexual assault, enticement of a minor, and distribution of child pornography.

September 11, 2014

Donald F. Ihlefeld, 71, of Cranston, R.I., owner of Alhambra Building Company of Warwick, R.I., pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Wednesday to filing false claims and false documents in order to collect more than $500,000 in federal stimulus funds during a renovation project of a former textile mill building in West Warwick, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

September 10, 2014

Assistant United States Attorneys John P. McAdams and Lee H. Vilker of the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island are among 243 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 30th annual Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

September 9, 2014

Ricky Wallace, a/k/a Justice, 33, of Pawtucket, was ordered detained on sex trafficking charges today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan, for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl from the Boston area to Rhode Island for the purposes of commercial sexual activity, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI; Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King; Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth.

September 9, 2014

Joseph G. Petrarca, 50, of Cumberland, R.I., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 12 years in federal prison for robbing three banks, two in Rhode Island and one in Vermont, within a span of twenty-two days, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Cranston Acting Police Chief - Rhode Island State Police Captain Kevin M. Barry; Cumberland Police Chief John R. Desmarais; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.

September 8, 2014

Troy Lake Simonds, 26, of Westerly, was released on unsecured bond following an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Providence on a federal criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon, with intent to do bodily harm. Simonds is charged in connection with an alleged stabbing incident that occurred on Tribal land on August 9, 2014, during the Tribe’s annual Powwow celebration.

September 8, 2014

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today reminded voters that the United States Attorney’s Office and the local office of the FBI, in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington, are prepared to receive and review complaints of allegations of election fraud and voting rights abuses during Tuesday’s primary election.

September 8, 2014

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today announced the filing of a civil complaint in U.S. District Court in Providence against Ahmad Jbawi, 39, of North Providence, R.I., alleging that Jbawi made multiple false representations to the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training in order to collect federally funded extended unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled. It is alleged that Jbawi falsely claimed and certified that he was able and available for work when this was not true under Rhode Island State law. In fact, he was mainly in Syria for more than half of the 700 days between January 18, 2009 and April 16, 2011, during which time he collected nearly $35,000 in federally funded benefits.

September 4, 2014

Richard Lara, 22, of Providence, R.I., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence yesterday to participating in a scheme in which personal identifying information of more than 1,200 individuals was stolen, many of which were used to file fraudulent tax returns with the IRS totaling more than $1.8 million dollars. Julian Balbi, 22, of Providence, a co-defendant in this matter, pleaded guilty on June 5, 2014, to participating in the scheme with Lara.

August 2014

August 28,2014

Saah Johnson, 33, of Fall River, Mass., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to his participation in a “black money” scheme which defrauded a Massachusetts man of $100,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service.

August 28,2014

Gennaro Miele, 62, of Niantic, CT., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a home invasion and robbery in March 2010, of a 78-year-old associate of the Gambino crime family in Stamford, CT., announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

August 27,2014

Kemont Bowie, 34, of Providence, was ordered detained in federal custody today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on sex trafficking charges, for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl from the Boston area to Rhode Island for the purposes of commercial sexual activity, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI; Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King and Central Falls Police Chief James J. Mendonca.

August 27,2014

Henry A. Fellela, Jr., 56, of Johnston, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for making nearly $83,000 in purchases with the use of stolen credit cards belonging to 17 individuals and fraudulently collecting more than $58,000 in Supplemental Security Income benefits by falsely claiming that he had no permanent home address while living with his wife and children in their Johnston residence.

August 21,2014

Ramon Lugo Rentas, 50, of Providence, was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

August 20,2014

Ian D. Andrade, 37, of Tiverton, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva.

August 18,2014

Roberts Chemical Company, Inc. pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to violating the Clean Air Act by failing to develop and implement a Risk Management Plan to minimize the chance of release of ethyl ether from its former Pawtucket, R.I., facility, and to protect workers, the community and emergency and first responders in the event of a release or fire involving ethyl ether. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require a company’s Risk Management Plan to include a “worst case” response plan.

August 15,2014

Jose Ignacio Goris, 39, of Providence, was ordered detained in federal custody today, charged with attempt to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Goris was arrested on Thursday by DEA Drug Task Force agents moments after he allegedly took custody of what he believed to be a kilogram of cocaine supplied to him by a person he believed to be a drug trafficker. The purported drug trafficker was an undercover DEA Drug Task Force agent.

August 14,2014

Ashley Sekator-Graham, 31, of Providence, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for her role in a drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in South Kingstown and Narragansett, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, South Kingstown Police Chief Vincent Vespia, Jr., Narragansett Police Chief Dean F. Hoxsie, and Michael Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New England field division.

August 11,2014

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today announced the appointment of Bethany N. Wong as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Rhode Island. An experienced litigator in civil and criminal matters, Ms. Wong has been assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Division.

August 8,2014

An investigation by the Providence Fire Department Arson Squad, the Providence Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office into an early morning fire on July 23, 2014, that caused significant damage to an occupied three family tenement at 346 Admiral Street in Providence, has resulted in the arrest and detention of the building’s owner, Rony Metellus, 51, of Providence. It is alleged that Metellus set fire to the building in order to collect insurance payments.

August 8,2014

A joint investigation by ATF agents and Central Falls Police has resulted in the arrest and detention of a Central Falls resident for allegedly trafficking crack cocaine and the seizure of more than 128 grams of crack cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF, and Central Falls Police Chief Colonel James J. Mendonca.

August 7,2014

Ernesto Monell, 36, formerly of Taunton, Mass., was sentenced on Wednesday to 24 months in federal prison, having been convicted by a federal court jury in Providence on May 20, 2014, of being in possession of contraband - a makeshift weapon, while incarcerated at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I., announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth.

August 7,2014

Lazar Hazard, 31, of Providence, was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

July 2014

July 24,2014

Doneri Aguilar Sandoval, 53, of Attleboro, Mass., was sentenced today to 72 months in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to traffic approximately 9 kilos of crystal methamphetamine worth more than $310,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Michael Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division.

July 23,2014

Sean Costigan, 51, of Pawtucket, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Providence to charges of manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine. Costigan was arrested in January 2014 when DEA agents, DEA Drug Task Force agents, and Warwick and Newport Police detectives and officers executed a court authorized search of a Newport motel room rented by Costigan where they discovered materials being used for the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.

July 22,2014

Four men arrested in June 2013 as the result of a sweeping fifteen-month joint federal, state and local law enforcement investigation resulting in the seizure of more than 137 grams of heroin, 392 grams of crack cocaine, 235 grams of cocaine powder, 47 grams and 100 pills of the synthetic drug “Molly,” 100 Ecstasy pills and six firearms, including a machine gun, have been sentenced to federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

July 18,2014

Daniel Berger, 28, of Haskell, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence, R.I., today to travelling in interstate for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a 13-year old female, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI; Portsmouth, R.I., Police Chief Thomas F. Lee; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

July 16,2014

John Sumo, 27, a Liberian national with no permanent address in the United States, was sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a sophisticated counterfeit check cashing scheme which resulted in the loss of more than $800,000 to financial institutions in at least four states. Sumo is one of thirteen defendants arrested as the result of a two-year federal, state and local law enforcement investigation dubbed Operation Check-Mate.

July 16,2014

Carlos A. Rodriguez, a/k/a Maldi, 32, of Ponce, Puerto Rico, was ordered detained on Tuesday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond and returned to Puerto Rico, following his apprehension by the United States Marshal Service and Rhode Island State Police on an outstanding arrest warrant on drug trafficking charges from the District of Puerto Rico, announced United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth, Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell and United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

July 15,2014

Stephen Ardrey, 30, of Springfield, Mo., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 14 years in federal prison for transporting a 17-year old female from the Boston area into Rhode Island with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Bart J. Cahill, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations for New England; West Greenwich, R.I., Police Chief Richard N. Ramsay; Coventry, R.I., Police Chief Bryan J. Volpe; Warwick, R.I., Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney; and Medfield, Mass., Police Chief Robert E. Meaney, Jr.

July 10,2014

The federal court jury trial of Wissam Khalil, 41, of Central Falls, R.I., and his brother Bassam Khalil, 49, formerly of Pawtucket, R.I., was halted Thursday when the two men pleaded guilty to their roles in a complex interstate contraband cigarette trafficking conspiracy that brought more than six million contraband cigarettes into Rhode Island from Virginia, and which cheated Rhode Island out of nearly $1.1 million dollars in tax stamp payments.

June 2014

June 26,2014

Edgar Pagan, 22, formerly of Providence, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pagan was serving a state sentence of home confinement in July 2013 on a previous conviction for drug possession when he was found to be in possession of nearly 2.5 grams of crack cocaine and two firearms, one of them loaded. He was arrested by members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.

June 25,2014

A federal jury in Providence late Tuesday afternoon convicted David Lasseque, 33, of Providence, for his role as getaway driver during the July 2013 armed robbery of the Barrington branch office of Bank of America, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Barrington Police Chief John M. LaCross, East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

June 20,2014

Criminal complaints unsealed in federal court in Providence today allege that two Providence men, Kiplagatt Stewart, 43, and Allen D. Prout, 42, conspired to and participated in an armed Hobbs Act robbery home invasion in West Warwick in September 2012, during which approximately $14,000 in cash was stolen and one of the alleged intruders was shot.

June 20,2014

Norman Cipriano, 41, of Warwick, R.I., was sentenced on Thursday to 50 months in federal prison for trafficking more 14,500 counterfeit sports jerseys, clothing accessories, and health and beauty products valued at more than $1 million dollars, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.

June 18,2014

A federal grand jury in Providence today returned a nine-count indictment alleging that Warren Hebert, 66, of Barrington, R.I., owner of Checkmaster Payroll Service, a payroll company which provided payroll services to private companies and at least one municipal agency, devised a scheme to defraud at least nine businesses and the Seekonk, Mass., Water District of federal payroll taxes that were to have been paid to the IRS, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.

June 5,2014

Allen Prout, 42, of Providence, and Emmett Blyden, 43, of no known address, were ordered detained in federal custody today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on allegations that they conspired to commit an armed home invasion in Providence, where they were expecting to find two kilos of heroin and a large amount of cash, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

June 5,2014

Julian Balbi, 22, of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to participating in a scheme in which personal identifying information of more than 1,200 individuals was collected, of which many were used to file fraudulent tax returns with the IRS totaling more than $1.8 million dollars. Balbi pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated identity theft and one count each of conspiracy and theft of government property.

June 5,2014

Moises Tronilo, 28, of Providence, was sentenced today to 5 years in federal prison for trafficking heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

June 5,2014

Joseph Kilty, 53, of Wakefield, R.I., a former authorized dealer and franchisee of a Sears Hometown and Outlet, Inc. store in Middletown, R.I., pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to defrauding Sears of more than $154,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

June 4,2014

Gennaro Miele, 61, of Niantic, CT., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in connection with a home invasion and robbery in March 2010 of a 78-year-old associate of the Gambino crime family, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF).

June 2,2014

Paul F. Pytko, 49, owner of Pytko Construction Corp. in North Smithfield, R.I., pleaded guilty today in federal court to participating in a conspiracy to conceal the sale of company assets he agreed to sell in order to satisfy more than $1 million dollars owed to the IRS, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

June 2,2014

A Providence resident previously convicted in state court on drug trafficking charges pleaded guilty in federal court today to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges and faces up to 70 years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

May 2014

May 29,,2014

Luis Ortiz, 42, formerly of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to failing to register as a sex offender as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth.

May 29,,2014

Kenneth J. O’Brien, 47, of Portsmouth, R.I., owner of K&D Investments Inc., d/b/a The Beach House, a bar, restaurant and nightclub located in Portsmouth, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to three counts of tax evasion, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.

May 28,,2014

A federal grand jury returned a nine-count superseding indictment on Tuesday charging a Providence landlord with allegedly masterminding an arson-for-hire conspiracy which resulted in an occupied multi-family dwelling in Providence that he owned being damaged by fire and the collection of $8,000 in insurance payments, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré.

May 27,,2014

The First Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the conviction of Robert O. Robinson, 32, of Woonsocket, for running a crack cocaine trafficking conspiracy out of a Woonsocket bar, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Robinson was convicted by a federal court jury in June 2012 of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and ten counts of distribution of crack cocaine. He was sentenced in June 2012 by U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi to 22 years in federal prison.

May 26,,2014

U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on Friday found Andrew A. Calcione, 49, of Cranston, guilty of one count each of threatening to assault and murder an IRS revenue agent and threatening to assault and murder the agent’s family, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; and Robert E. O’Malley, Special Agent in Charge, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, New York Field Division.

May 22,,2014

Ian D. Andrade, 37, of Tiverton, faces statutory penalties of up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on August 7, 2014, having pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trafficking cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva.

May 20,,2014

A federal court jury in Providence today convicted Ernesto Monell, 36, of Taunton, Mass., with possession of contraband - a makeshift weapon, while incarcerated at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I., announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth.

May 8,,2014

Glen Lonardo, 48, of Cranston, owner of Buddha’s Bazaar in Cranston and XCitement Video and Smoke Shop in West Warwick, appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Lincoln D. Almond today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with allegedly possessing synthetic drugs with the intent to distribute, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New England Field Division, Cranston Acting Police Chief Rhode Island State Police Captain Kevin M. Barry and West Warwick Police Chief Colonel Richard G. Silva.

May 6,,2014

Kenneth M. Delashmutt, 70, of North Providence, R.I., faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in July, having being convicted today by a federal court jury in Providence of threatening to assault and murder two Internal Revenue Service agents, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Robert E. O’Malley, Special Agent in Charge, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, New York Field Division.

May 5,,2014

Yvener Jean-Baptiste, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has been charged in federal court in Providence, R.I., with allegedly obtaining more than $156,000 in Target and Wal-Mart gift cards by allegedly using stolen identities and fraudulent credit cards, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service, and Lincoln Police Chief Brian W. Sullivan.

May 2,,2014

Derek Felicio, 41, of North Smithfield, R.I., was ordered detained in federal custody on Thursday pending a detention hearing later today on charges of allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New England.

April 2014

April 23,,2014

A federal grand jury in Providence on Tuesday returned a twenty-four count indictment alleging that a Portsmouth, R.I., business, its owner and his wife marketed and sold in excess of $2,000,000 dollars worth of products not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as cancer mitigation and treatment options, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department's Tax Division, Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.

April 15,,2014

Seven individuals allegedly involved in tax refund fraud schemes which used stolen and fraudulent identities to defraud the Internal Revenue Service of more than $1.6 million dollars have been charged in federal court in Providence, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Four individuals have pleaded guilty and a fifth is expected to plead guilty next week. Two defendants are awaiting trial.

April 11,,2014

A federal grand jury in Providence has returned a three-count indictment charging Tyronne Seams, 28, of Woonsocket, R.I., and David Bunnell, 21, of Franklin, Mass. with allegedly participating in a conspiracy and Hobbs Act Robbery and with discharging firearms during a crime of violence during an alleged robbery and shootout inside a Woonsocket residence in September 2013. If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.

April 11,,2014

The Justice Department has reached an agreement with the Rhode Island Judiciary to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) individuals will have access to timely and competent language assistance at no charge in all court proceedings, services and programs throughout the state court system.

April 9,,2014

Henry A. Fellela, Jr., 56, of Johnston, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Tuesday to charges that he fraudulently obtained the identity of a Smithfield resident and using that person’s identity and credit card to purchase more than $3,000 worth of goods. In addition, Fellela pleaded guilty to charges that he fraudulently obtained more than $58,000 in Supplemental Social Security benefits by falsely claiming he had no permanent home address while living with his wife and children in Johnston.

April 8,,2014

The Justice Department announced today that it has entered into a statewide settlement agreement that will resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for approximately 3,250 Rhode Islanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The landmark ten year agreement is the nation’s first statewide settlement to address the rights of people with disabilities to receive state funded employment and daytime services in the broader community, rather than in segregated sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. Approximately 450,000 people with I/DD across the country spend their days in segregated sheltered workshops or in segregated day programs. The agreement significantly advances the department's work to enforce the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C, which requires persons with I/DD be served in the most integrated setting appropriate.

March 2014

March 26,2014

Damien Gouse, 35, described at sentencing by the government as a career criminal with nearly 50 arrests who is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence in Massachusetts on felony assault charges, was sentenced by U.S District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr, on Tuesday to 10 years in federal for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

March 25,2014

Victor Sena, aka “V,” 35, of Cranston, R.I., was ordered detained in federal custody today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond, having been charged with possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division.

March 20,2014

A federal grand jury in Providence, R.I., on Wednesday returned a thirteen-count indictment charging John J. Brennan, 48, of Everett, Mass., a former Secretary Treasurer of Local 23 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in Rhode Island, with allegedly embezzling more than $74,000 in union and union employee benefit funds.

March 20,2014

A federal grand jury in Providence on Wednesday returned a five-count indictment charging Alfredo Balestier-Sanchez, aka Negro, 32, of Woonsocket, with trafficking heroin, fentanyl, morphine and codeine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey and John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England field division.

March 20,2014

Joseph G. Petrarca, 50, of Cumberland, R.I., faces statutory penalties of up to 45 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to robbing two banks within twenty days while claiming to be armed with a gun, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Cranston Acting Police Chief Rhode Island State Police Captain Kevin M. Barry, Cumberland Police Chief John R. Desmarais and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

March 19,2014

Bassam Kiriaki, 46, an accountant with offices located in Pawtucket, R.I., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Monday to participating in a conspiracy which trafficked $1.2 million dollars in contraband cigarettes into Rhode Island from Virginia and to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the food stamp program, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

March 5,2014

Alfredo Balestier-Sanchez, aka Negro, 32, of Woonsocket, was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on federal charges of possessing and trafficking fentanyl and heroin. Sanchez was arrested Tuesday evening by members of the Woonsocket Police Department and the RI DEA Drug Task Force following a one month investigation during which time Sanchez allegedly sold fentanyl on at least three occasions to a person cooperating with law enforcement.

March 4,2014

Napoleon Andrade, 32, of Central Falls, who is currently incarcerated while serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for drug trafficking, money laundering, theft of government property and federal firearm violations was enhanced today by 63 months for his role in a March 2010 home invasion in Stamford, Connecticut, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

February 2014

February 28, 2014

Former Central Falls Mayor Charles D. Moreau pleaded guilty in federal court today to soliciting and accepting a bribe from longtime friend, businessman and political supporter Michael G. Bouthillette. Moreau admitted to the court that he participated in a corruption scheme in which the former mayor accepted goods and services from Mr. Bouthillette in exchange for directing and providing board-up work on more than 160 properties in Central Falls between 2007 and 2009.

February 26, 2014

The attached documents in the matter of the United States of America vs. Charles D. Moreau were filed today with the U.S. District Court in Providence.

February 26, 2014

Stephen Ardrey, 30, of Springfield, Mo., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to transporting a 17-year old female from the Boston area into Rhode Island with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Ardrey was arrested on September 12, 2013, when he was located walking with the victim along a Coventry, R.I., highway three days after the victim had been reported missing from her Medfield, Mass., home.

February 25, 2014

Scott Niemic, 36, of Swansea, Mass., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 105 months in federal prison for committing five “note-job” bank robberies in Rhode Island and Massachuetts in a span of twenty-six days in March and April 2012. A “note-job” robbery occurs when a note demanding money is passed but no weapon is shown.

February 23, 2014

Two convenience store retailers have been sentenced to federal prison, nine other convenience store owners, managers and employees are scheduled to be sentenced in March, April and May, all having pleaded guilty to federal food stamp fraud charges brought as the result of a sweeping two-year federal investigation into various conspiracies to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as the food stamp program.

February 20, 2014

Leonard O’Neill, 58, of Warwick, R.I., was sentenced today to 36 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, and Cheryl DiPrizio, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Field Office of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

February 19, 2014

Christopher Marion, 26, of Woonsocket, R.I., was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

February 19, 2014

Kelley M. Lajoie, 35, formerly of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 188 months in federal prison for her role as lookout in the September 2010 armed robbery and murder of Woonsocket gas station manager David D. Main.

February 13, 2014

Jose A. Santiago, 36, of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., to serve 40 years in prison for his role in the September 2010 armed robbery and murder of Woonsocket gas station manager David D. Main.

February 11, 2014

A Rhode Island state probation officer assigned to the sex offender unit was convicted by a federal court jury in Providence on Monday on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. Gerald J. Silva, 59, of Coventry, was convicted on six counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Shelly Binkowski, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Coventry Police Chief Bryan J. Volpe; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

February 10, 2014

The Justice Department announced the filing of a lawsuit today against the State of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) alleging that the defendants are engaged in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination against African-Americans and Hispanics in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the defendants’ use of a written examination and a video examination to screen and select applicants for entry-level correction officer (CO) positions at RIDOC as part of the department’s ongoing efforts to ensure that state and local government employers utilize non-discriminatory assessment tools in their hiring practices.

February 4, 2014

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today announced the appointment of Assistant United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch to the position of First Assistant United States Attorney. The position was most recently held by Kenneth P. Madden, who retired on January 31, 2014, after serving thirty-eight years in public service as a prosecutor.

January 2014

January 31, 2014

Jamal Bannister, 20, of Pawtucket, R.I., and Dorchester, Mass., was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King.

January 31, 2014

Ulicssye Towns, aka Voomp, 35, of Providence, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Thursday to 60 months in federal prison for trafficking crack cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, J Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

January 31, 2014

First Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth P. Madden, a federal prosecutor for nearly twenty-eight years, is retiring from public service today after serving a total of thirty-eight years as a local prosecutor. Mr. Madden served as a Rhode Island state prosecutor for ten years prior to his appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1986.

January 30, 2014

David Crisostomi, 38, of East Providence, R.I., was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years in federal prison for using a prepubescent minor to manufacture child pornography and for possessing and distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.

January 28, 2014

Jose E. Lopez Mauricio, aka “Flaco,” 28, of Warwick, R.I., and Jorge Guzman-Rivera, 28, of New Bedford, Mass., have been ordered detained in federal custody on drug trafficking charges following their arrest and the seizure of two kilos of cocaine by the Rhode Island FBI Safe Street Task Force, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.

January 28, 2014

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and Rhode Island State Police Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell announced today that several individuals were arrested over the past week as a result of “Operation Check-Mate,” a nearly two-year investigation into illegal and fraudulent check cashing schemes that allegedly cost banks in excess of $800,000.

January 27, 2014

Donald Robbio, 56, of Cranston, was sentenced today to 50 months in federal prison for trading the pharmaceutical drug Xanax for two firearms, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

January 24, 2014

Abdullah Alnahas, 36, of Cranston, owner and operator of a Cranston convenience store and a Providence laundromat, faces up to 10 years in federal prison for his participation in a contraband cigarette conspiracy that allegedly brought more than six million contraband cigarettes valued at more than $1.2 million dollars into Rhode Island from Virginia, and which allegedly cheated Rhode Island out of more than $500,000 in tax stamp payments.

January 24, 2014

Abdullah Alnahas, 36, of Cranston, owner and operator of a Cranston convenience store and a Providence laundromat, faces up to 10 years in federal prison for his participation in a contraband cigarette conspiracy that allegedly brought more than six million contraband cigarettes valued at more than $1.2 million dollars into Rhode Island from Virginia, and which allegedly cheated Rhode Island out of more than $500,000 in tax stamp payments.

January 23, 2014

Aaron Young, 37, of Providence, an armed career criminal previously convicted and sentenced in state court on felony assault, robbery and drug trafficking charges, was sentenced today in federal court to 216 months in federal prison on federal drug trafficking and firearms charges, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

January 17, 2014

Sean Costigan, 51, of Pawtucket, was ordered detained in federal custody today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on federal drug trafficking charges, following an investigation by the Warwick Police Narcotics Unit and the R.I. DEA Drug Task Force into the alleged manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine by Costigan, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney, and John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England field division.

January 15, 2014

An investigation by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Scituate Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office into the alleged trafficking of firearms from a Scituate, R.I., residence resulted today in the seizure of nine firearms and more than 30 marijuana plants from the residence, and the arrest and detention of Philip Debartolo, 29, of Scituate, on federal firearm and drug charges.

January 12, 2014

Randolph Hurst, 50, of West Warwick R.I., a former Assistant District Manager for the Social Security Administration in Rhode Island, was sentenced Friday to 39 months in federal prison for stealing the identity of a Coventry, R.I., man and using his identity to fraudulently sell more than $160,000 worth of stock certificates belonging to the victim, and for failing to pay $61,999 in taxes owed the IRS.

January 8, 2014

Brett Beauchamp, 29, of Woonsocket, R.I., a former U.S. Postal Service carrier, was sentenced today to 3 years federal probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay restitution for rifling through greeting cards he was to have delivered and stealing some of the contents, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rafael Medina, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Area Field Office of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG).

January 7, 2014

Serigne Diokhane, 39, of Woonsocket, R.I., a native of Dakar, Senegal, was convicted today by a federal court jury in Providence of making false representations to immigration officials when applying for permanent residency in the United States. Diokhane faces up to five years in federal prison, followed by up to 3 years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi on April 3, 2014.

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