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Press Release

Armed Career Criminal Convicted On Federal Firearm Charge Faces Up To Life In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Damien Gouse, 35, who is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence in Massachusetts on felony assault charges, faces 15 years up to life in federal prison after being convicted by a federal court jury on Wednesday of being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

The government filed notice with the court that they will seek to have Gouse sentenced as an armed career criminal. According to court documents, Gouse was convicted on five occasions between 1998 and 2007 of violent felony crimes punishable by terms of imprisonment of more than one year.

The government presented evidence at trial that on November 29, 2007, at approximately 9:50 p.m., two Providence Police officers, on routine patrol in a marked police cruiser, observed a vehicle make a turn without using a turn signal. The vehicle proceeded at a slow speed with the officers behind it, and then turned abruptly into a church parking lot, again without signaling. The officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle in the parking lot. 

According to the government’s evidence, as the officers approached the vehicle they observed Gouse, who was alone in the vehicle, reach across the middle console of the vehicle toward the passenger side floor attempting to conceal an item.  One of the officers illuminated the passenger area floor with a flashlight where he observed and seized a .22 caliber handgun. 

Gouse has been detained since his arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on March 11, 2014.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gerard B. Sullivan, Richard B. Myrus and Lee H. Vilker.

The matter was investigated by the Providence Police Department, with the assistance of 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

Contact: 401-709-5357

Updated June 22, 2015