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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Convicted Felon Indicted on Firearm and Drug Trafficking Charges

Third arrest on firearm charges as defendant served federal supervised release and state probation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal grand jury in Providence today returned a two-count indictment charging Christopher Rene, 25, of Providence, with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Rene was arrested by Providence Police on February 4, 2016. It is the third time Rene has been arrested on a firearm charge.

Rene’s indictment is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., and Harold B. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in New England.

According to court records, at the time of his most recent arrest, Rene was on federal supervised release and state probation. In August 2009, Rene was convicted in state court on drug trafficking and firearm charges. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison, 6 months to serve and 78 months of probation.  In a separate matter, in March 2011, Rene was convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

On February 10, 2015, while on federal supervised release and state probation, Rene was among 35 individuals arrested during a series of investigations into violent crime in Providence as part of the Rhode Island Urban Violent Crime Initiative.  Based on information gathered by law enforcement, Rene was arrested for violating the terms of his federal supervised release. He was sentenced to six months in federal prison and an additional 30 months of federal supervised release.

According to state court documents, in February 2016, during an investigation into Rene’s alleged drug trafficking activities, Providence Police seized 41 bags of crack cocaine and .40 caliber handgun from vehicles allegedly accessed by Rene while he was under police surveillance. It is alleged that Rene was detained shortly after he exited one vehicle and allegedly placed the handgun in the second vehicle. The crack cocaine was discovered in the first vehicle allegedly accessed by Rene.

Rene has been held in state custody since his arrest.

An indictment 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.

The case is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

The matter was investigated by the Providence Police Department with the assistance of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha acknowledges and thanks the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General for their assistance in this matter.


Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crimes
Updated April 21, 2016