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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 26, 2018

Alleged Street Gang Member Detained on Federal Firearm Charges

PROVIDENCE, RI – An alleged member of the Hanover Boyz street gang has been ordered detained in federal custody on federal firearm charges after a Cranston Police motor vehicle stop and Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation resulted in the discovery and seizure of a loaded firearm and a stamp collection reported stolen from a Cranston residence.

Anthony Washburn, 32, of Providence, was ordered detained following his initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on a criminal complaint charging him with felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

The arrest and detention of Washburn are announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Cranston Police Chief Michael J. Winquist.

According to court documents and information presented to the Court, it is alleged that on July 25, 2018, a Cranston Police Department patrolman affected a traffic stop of a vehicle traveling on Route 10 with an expired temporary license plate. As the officer approached the vehicle he observed both the driver and a front seat passenger moving within the vehicle, appearing to reach for something in the center console area. Upon reaching the vehicle, the officer noticed a plastic bag in the center console area which appeared to contain marijuana. The driver, identified as Anthony Washburn, handed the bag to the officer stating, “This is all I have on me.” The officer requested that Washburn exit the vehicle while telling the passenger to remain in the vehicle.

Upon the arrival of another officer, the passenger was removed from the vehicle and a search of the vehicle was conducted. It is alleged that Washburn told the officers anything found inside the vehicle belonged to him. The search resulted in the discovery of a 12-pack box of beer on the floor behind the driver’s seat containing, an open bottle of alcohol, several beers, and a sock containing a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic firearm. Police also discovered 2 small plastic bags of crack cocaine in the vehicle. Inside the center console officers discovered and seized a small digital scale consistent with use in narcotics trade. Inside the trunk of the vehicle officers discovered a large shopping bag containing a stamp collection. The passenger was found to be in possession of $3,400 in cash she said belonged to Washburn.

Further investigation by Cranston Police revealed that the firearm and stamp collection were reported stolen in a housebreak in Cranston, and that the expired temporary license plate was counterfeit and was to have been affixed to a different vehicle.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to information presented to the Court and court records, Washburn was previously convicted in Rhode Island state court and sentenced to prison on multiple occasions on drug trafficking charges. According to information presented to the Court, Washburn is alleged to be a member of the Hanover Boyz street gang in Providence.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.

United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist acknowledge and thank the FBI and the FBI Safe Street Task Force for their assistance in the preparation of this matter for prosecution.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
18-88
Updated July 26, 2018