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Press Release

Armed Heroin Dealer Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

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

PROVIDENCE – A 35-year-old Providence man for whom court records indicate multiple previous state court convictions for similar conduct, was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison for being an armed drug dealer, a felon in possession of firearms, and for trafficking heroin, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

According to court documents, Giancarlo Fermin has repeatedly engaged in similar conduct in the past, despite multiple state convictions; his first term of incarceration came at age eighteen following a Rhode Island state conviction on narcotics and firearm charges.

Most recently, Fermin was arrested when members of the FBI Safe Street Task Force executed a court-authorized search of his residence in August 2021, where they located two fully loaded firearms, ammunition, approximately 16 grams of heroin, and numerous items used to prepare and package narcotics for distribution, including a grinder, a digital scale, and more than 2,000 blue miniature paper envelopes. As FBI agents entered Fermin’s residence, the agents witnessed Fermin tossing blue envelopes, some containing heroin, out of a window. Fermin later admitted that he possessed the firearms for “protection.”

“Armed drug traffickers who choose to make a career out of peddling opioids into our Rhode Island communities can look forward to prison, not profits,” said U.S. Attorney Cunha.  “Today’s sentence should leave no doubt about this Office’s resolve to use every means at our disposal to deal with those who put guns and drugs on our streets.”

“Today’s sentence makes it clear that career criminals like Giancarlo Fermin who refuse to learn from their mistakes by repeatedly breaking the law and threatening the safety of others will be held accountable,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.  “No community is untouched by violent crime which is why our RI Safe Streets Task Force continues to work hard every day alongside our law enforcement partners in identifying, investigating, and disrupting others like Mr. Fermin who incite violence and threaten the safety our citizens.”

Fermin pleaded guilty on November 3, 2022, as charged by way of indictment, to possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced today to eighty-four months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated April 24, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 23-48