News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

2014: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr |

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

April 2014

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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