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Press Release

Convicted Massachusetts Felon Sentenced on Firearm Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
Prohibited from making the purchase in Massachusetts, defendant crossed into Rhode Island to purchase ammunition where background checks are not required

PROVIDENCE – A convicted felon from Boston who is prohibited by law from possessing ammunition because of previous felony convictions was sentenced today to 36 months in federal prison for being in possession of ammunition he purchased from a Woonsocket federally licensed firearms dealer, in a Project Guardian case brought by the United States Attorney’s Office.

Charlie D. Vick, 30, of Everett, Mass., pleaded guilty on May 15, 2019, to being a felon in possession of ammunition, admitting to the Court that he and Gabriel A. Rosario, 23, of Chelsea, Mass., traveled from Boston to a Woonsocket firearms dealer with the intent of buying ammunition, aware that Rhode Island state law does not require a background check for ammunition purchases, unlike Massachusetts.

Vick admitted to the Court that once inside the store he asked the store manager for assistance with ammunition. The manager accompanied Vick to an area of the store away from a countertop where a .22 caliber firearm was displayed. While Vick and the manager were away from the counter area, Rosario took the .22 caliber firearm from the countertop, placed it in his waistband, and left the store.

After Rosario left the store, the store manager and Vick returned to the counter area. Vick knowingly illegally purchased three boxes of ammunition. Vick left the store and he and Rosario drove away from the area.

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives investigation determined that within a few days the stolen firearm was sold on the streets of Boston.

To obtain assistance from the public in identifying the two men responsible for the theft of the firearm, ATF offered a $1,500 reward leading to the identification of one or both of the men. At least two individuals contacted the Woonsocket Police Department and identified Charlie Vick as one of the two men depicted in surveillance camera photos publicized by law enforcement.

At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith sentenced Vick to 36 months incarceration to be followed by 3 years supervised release, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF Kelly D. Brady, and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates.

Gabriel A. Rosario, 23, of Chelsea, Mass., pleaded guilty on March 7, 2019, to theft of a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 30, 2020.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF Kelly D. Brady, and Woonsocket Police Thomas Oates thank the United States Marshals Service and the Chelsea, Mass., Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and arrest of Vick and Rosario.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Woonsocket Police Department; United States Marshals Service; and the Chelsea, Mass., Police Department.

 For more information about Project Guardian, please see



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated January 22, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Press Release Number: 20-09