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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 1, 2019

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison on Firearm Charge

PROVIDENCE – A Providence man previously convicted and imprisoned on firearm charges was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 10 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

Joshua R. Souza, 37, of Providence, was most recently arrested by Providence Police detectives on April 27, 2018, following an investigation into Souza’s drug trafficking activities.

According to information provided to the Court, following controlled purchases of cocaine from Souza, Providence Police detectives executed a court-authorized search warrant at Souza’s residence. Detectives seized loose and packaged cocaine from Souza’s person. From his residence they seized 11.9 grams of cocaine and two firearms: a 12 gauge sawed-off shotgun with an obliterated serial number and a stolen 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Souza, arrested and detained on Rhode Island state court charges since April 27, 2018, pleaded guilty in federal court on January 14, 2019, to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell sentenced Souza to 10 years in federal prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release.

Souza’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Kelly D. Brady.

According to court records, Souza was previously convicted in Rhode Island state court on firearm, larceny, and breaking and entering charges.

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

The matter was investigated by Providence Police with the assistance of ATF and the ATF Task Force.

The ATF Task Force is comprised of law enforcement agents and officers from ATF, the Providence and Police Pawtucket Police Departments, Rhode Island State Police, and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.         

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
19-32
Updated April 1, 2019