You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Eight Charged in "Lie-and-Buy" Firearms Schemes

At least 44 firearms allegedly obtained or transferred illegally

PROVIDENCE, RI – A series of ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods investigations targeting individuals who allegedly provided false information to federally licensed firearms dealers in Rhode Island when purchasing firearms has, to date, resulted in criminal charges against eight individuals.

Investigations led by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and local law enforcement officers assigned to the Rhode Island ATF Task Force, have identified at least 44 firearms purchased by individuals who allegedly provided false information and/or made false statements on ATF forms they signed and provided to licensed federal firearms dealers in Rhode Island in order to purchase firearms. Many of the firearms were later sold or transferred unlawfully by the purchasers to others.

To date, working collaboratively, Rhode Island federal and state prosecutors have charged five individuals in U.S. District Court by way of federal criminal complaints or indictments and three individuals in Rhode Island state court by way of state criminal complaints.

Law enforcement has been aided in their investigations into these so called “lie-and-buy” cases by the ATF New England Crime Intelligence Center (CGIC). The CGIC affords ATF’s state and local law enforcement partners with access to unique crime gun intelligence and databases that are critical to intelligence driven strategic and operational efforts to combat firearms trafficking and armed violent crime. 

United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch commented, “Stemming the flow of illegal firearms into our neighborhoods by keeping them out of the hands of those who either purchase them illegally or are prohibited by law from possessing them is a top priority of this office and of our law enforcement partners.”

“When individuals illegally purchase firearms for persons who are prohibited under federal law to possess a firearm, also known as a “straw purchase”, there is a likelihood that firearm could be used in a crime of violence.  ATF is committed to vigorously investigating violations of federal firearm laws in order to reduce gun violence and protect our communities,” Said Mickey Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge for the ATF Boston Field Division.

“Through cooperative investigation and prosecution of illegal firearm purchases, we have successfully taken dozens of illegal firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, which has undoubtedly saved lives,” said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

Defendants charged to date:

Molyka Preap, 31, of Providence, RI. It is alleged that in September and October 2017, Preap made false statements on ATF forms she signed and provided to a licensed federal firearms dealer when purchasing a total of three firearms. Preap has been charged by way of a federal criminal complaint with two counts of false statements during purchases of firearms.

Ademola Kayode, Jr., 25, of Warwick, RI. It is alleged that between April and June 2016, Kayode made false statements on ATF forms he signed and provided to a licensed federal firearms dealer when purchasing a total of eight firearms. Kayode is charged by way of a federal indictment with three counts each of false statements during purchases of firearms and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, and one count of false statements to a federal agent.

Darien Young, 23, of Providence, RI. It is alleged that during April and May 2017, Young made false statements on ATF forms she signed and provided to a licensed federal firearms dealer when purchasing a total of five firearms. Young is charged by way of a federal indictment with three counts each of false statements during purchases of firearms and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, and one count of false statements to a federal agent.

Lucilo Mena, 56, of Cranston, RI. It is alleged that in November 2016, Mena made false statements on ATF forms he signed and provided to a licensed federal firearms dealer when purchasing a firearm. It is alleged that beginning in April 2017, Mena engaged in the business of dealing firearms without a license. According to information presented to the court, it is alleged that the firearm purchased by Mena in Rhode Island in November 2016, which he later sold, was recovered during an investigation into a shooting in Boston in August 2017. Mena is charged by way of a federal indictment with one count each of false statements during the purchase of a firearm and engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license.

Tarriek Gill, 24, of Cumberland, RI. It is alleged that in November and December 2016, Gill made false statements on ATF forms he signed and provided to a licensed federal firearms dealers when purchasing a total of nine firearms. Young is charged by way of a federal indictment with three counts each of false statements during purchases of firearms and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, and one count of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license.

Brian Luna, 22, of Providence, RI, and Alex Cuevas-Polanco, 20, Providence, RI. A joint ATF and Providence Police Department investigation determined that Luna purchased 3 firearms from licensed firearms dealers in May 2017. It is alleged that Luna made false statements on ATF forms he signed and provided to the firearms dealers.  On June 20, 2017, Luna, who was accompanied by Cuevas-Polanco, purchased five additional firearms. It is alleged that false statements were made on ATF forms he signed and provided to the firearms dealers.  Law enforcement later stopped their vehicle and recovered two firearms. A search by law enforcement of Luna’s residence resulted in the recovery of four firearms, including three from that day’s sale, as well as marijuana, crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.  The investigation determined that Cuevas-Polanco allegedly assisted with the trafficking of firearms.  Providence Police arrested Luna and Cuevas-Polanco on numerous state firearms and drug charges. 

Daniel Carides, 22, of Providence, RI.  A joint ATF and Providence Police Department investigation determined that in August 2017, Carides purchased four firearms. Information developed during the investigation determined that Carides allegedly unlawfully transferred at least two firearms. Law enforcement subsequently executed a court authorized search of Carides residence and seized ten firearms and other evidence.  On September 12, 2017, Providence Police arrested Carides on numerous state firearms and drug charges. 

An indictment and criminal complaint are merely allegations and are 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 ATF Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from ATF, Providence Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Defendants charged in U.S. District Court are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Milind M. Shah and Ronald R. Gendron. Defendants charges in Rhode Island state court are being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Jeffrey Morin and Joseph McBurney.

###

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 490-1092
Press Release Number: 
18-29
Updated March 28, 2018