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Justice News

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

Monday, January 7, 2013

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges In Straw-Buying Scheme To Purchase And Stockpile Firearms

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Peter A. Laporte, 47, of Warwick, a four-time convicted felon who helped orchestrate the straw-purchase of 10 firearms and a significant quantity of ammunition from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Wyoming, R.I., pleaded guilty today in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Laporte admitted to the court that he orchestrated the purchases during the summer of 2012, because he wanted to stockpile firearms, ammunition and other supplies in preparation for “doomsday.” Laporte was arrested in August 2012, as he exited the firearms dealer’s business.

Laporte’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge ATF’s Boston Field Office; Richmond Police Chief Elwood M. Johnson, Jr.; and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.

At today’s change of plea hearing, Laporte admitted to the court that on July 30, 2012, he accompanied his wife to the firearms dealer and advised her on several purchases of firearms which she made, including four 9mm pistols, a .357 revolver, two semi-automatic assault rifles, a Remington 30-6 rifle, two shotguns and more than 750 rounds of ammunition.

According to information presented to the court, two weeks after ordering the firearms and ammunition, Laporte and his wife returned to the gun shop to pick-up the firearms. Laporte provided a cash payment totaling $6,878.63. He returned to the dealer again on August 22, 2012, to pick-up ammunition that was previously ordered. He was arrested as he exited the business.

Nine of the firearms, 1,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition and other items were seized by federal agents on August 22, 2012, during an authorized search of a garage and trailer in Warwick rented by Laporte. Court records indicate that a search of Laporte and his wife’s Warwick residence resulted in the seizure of the 10th firearm purchased on July 30 and another rifle.

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

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. United States Attorney Peter Neronha acknowledged the assistance of the Richmond and Warwick Police Departments in the investigation of this matter and the arrest of the Laporte.

Contact: 401-709-5357

Updated June 22, 2015