News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

2015: Jan | Feb | Mar |

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

March 2015

March 3,2015

Former Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, 53, of East Providence, has waived federal indictment and is expected to plead guilty in federal court to a three-count Information charging him with wire fraud, bribery and filing a false tax return. The charges stem from former Speaker Fox’s theft of $108,000 donated by campaign supporters to pay for personal expenses; his acceptance of a $52,000 bribe to advocate and move for issuance of a liquor license for an East Side restaurant while serving as Vice-Chairman of the City of Providence Board of Licenses in 2008; and his failure to account for these illegal sources of income on his tax returns.

February 2015

February 19, 2015

Nicholas Selser, 33, and Michael Fortes, 48, of Cranston, have been ordered detained in federal custody on charges that they allegedly manufactured methamphetamine inside their apartment at the Devan Manor housing complex in Cranston, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist and Michael Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division.

February 17, 2015

Sarunn N. Phan, 27, of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court today to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

February 13, 2015

A federal court jury on Thursday convicted Ernest Kar, 34, of Providence, with participating in a counterfeit check scheme that defrauded local banks of at least $800,000, announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

February 12, 2015

Former North Providence town councilman and former Rhode Island Deputy Secretary of State Paul Caranci has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award, presented by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) for “acts of political courage.” Mr. Caranci was honored for his role in assisting the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office during an investigation into political corruption within the North Providence town council in 2010.

February 12, 2015

A federal court jury in Providence on Tuesday convicted a Providence woman of making false statements regarding her marital status in order to collect more than $47,000 in widower’s benefits from the Social Security Administration following the death of her former husband, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

February 3, 2015

Neftali Reyes, a/k/a Popi, 32, of Providence, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for trafficking heroin, announced by 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.

January 2015

January 30, 2015

Philip DeBartolo, 30, of Scituate, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of 12 firearms, and manufacturing and distributing marijuana, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Divisionof the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

January 29, 2015

A federal jury sitting in Providence, Rhode Island, convicted a Cranston, Rhode Island, man of one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), one count of tax evasion and two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false corporate tax returns, the Justice Department and the IRS announced.

January 23, 2015

Andres Garay, 27, of Providence, faces between 5 – 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on April 10, 2015, having pleaded guilty today to possessing with the intent to deliver more than 100 grams of heroin, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

January 23, 2015

Alexander Tovar, 26, and Miguel Valentin, 30, of Providence, have been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for their participation in a heroin and cocaine trafficking conspiracy, that ended with the seizure of more than 486 grams of heroin and 462 grams of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England.

January 16, 2015

Derek D. Felicio, 42, of North Smithfield, R.I., was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for possessing more than 90,000 images and 555 videos depicting child pornography and for distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New England; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

January 15, 2015

Gbabia Kollie, 27, of Johnson City, Tenn., has pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence to participating in an alleged scheme to burn a multi-tenement building at 31-33 Ida Street in Providence in November 2013, in an alleged arson-for-profit scheme. Kollie has been detained in federal custody since December 5, 2013, when he was removed from an outbound international flight leaving Atlanta for Liberia and arrested by ATF agents.

January 14, 2015

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today jointly announced the cross-designation of several senior prosecutors to enhance the prosecution of multi-jurisdictional crime including narcotics, firearms, and human trafficking, as well as public corruption and child pornography.

January 14, 2015

A federal grand jury in Providence returned a twenty-six count indictment today charging Robert L. Wilkins, 23, of Providence, with twelve counts of distribution of heroin, twelve counts of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine), and one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and conspiracy to distribute heroin, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.

January 14, 2015

John Crosslin, 51, of San Tan Valley, Arizona, has been charged in federal court in Providence with failing to pay legal child support obligations for his son totaling more than $116,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

January 9, 2015

Adalberto Negron, 31, of Woonsocket, on Thursday, became the second person sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for their role in a crack cocaine distribution conspiracy which operated in Central Falls from January to November 2013, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI, and Colonel James J. Mendonca, Central Falls Police Chief.

January 5, 2015

Pedro Mercado, 32, of Providence, was sentenced today to 36 months in federal prison for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. Mercado was arrested by Providence Police in February 2014, during an on-going investigation into heroin trafficking in the City of Providence.

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