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Press Release

Convicted Felon Indicted on Drug Trafficking, Firearm Charges

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

PROVIDENCE – A Warwick man arrested in early May during an investigation by Newport and Warwick Police into the alleged theft of two firearms from a Newport residence has been indicted by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearm charges.

Brian Thompson, 45, was arrested on May 8, 2019, after one of the reported stolen firearms was allegedly located under the rear seat of his pick-up truck during a traffic stop effectuated by Warwick Police, in conjunction with the Newport Police investigation. Also allegedly seized from Thompson was 19 grams of crack cocaine, $4,436 in cash, and various items used in the distribution and use of crack cocaine.

A court-authorized search warrant executed at Thompson’s Warwick residence the day of his arrest resulted in the seizure of a substantial quantity of cocaine, marijuana, assorted pills, $26,400 in cash, 64 gift cards, jewelry, and various items used in the packaging and distribution of drugs.

Thompson, previously convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, and who had been detained in state custody since his arrest on state charges on May 8, 2019, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Thompson is now detained in federal custody.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Thompson’s indictment is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva, Warwick Police Chief Colonel Rick J. Rathbun, and Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division Brian D. Boyle.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for their assistance to the Newport and Warwick Police Departments in the investigation of this matter and the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force for their assistance in preparing this matter for prosecution.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated June 7, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 19-73