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Press Release

Jury Convicts Providence Man of Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – A federal court jury in Providence today convicted Jhonmar Roman, 25, of Providence, of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Previously in this case, Roman, a convicted felon, admitted to the Court that he trafficked fentanyl and cocaine, and, at the time of his arrest, was a felon in possession of a firearm. However, he denied the loaded gun located by law enforcement in his residence near his stash of fentanyl, cocaine, and $1,400 in cash was possessed in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities.

Roman’s conviction is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva.

According to evidence presented to the jury, on September 14, 2017, Newport Police developed information that Roman would be delivering 10 grams of heroin to Bayside Village in Newport. Officers, who had a description of Roman’s vehicle, observed the vehicle exit the highway. The left front headlight was not working as it passed the officers. The vehicle was pulled over as it entered Bayside Village. Roman, who was driving the vehicle, was asked to exit the vehicle.

According to the government’s evidence, Roman at first told officers that he lived in East Providence and he denied having any drugs on him. Upon further questioning, Roman admitted that he lived in Providence and that he had 10 grams of heroin stashed in his underwear. Roman also told detectives that he had additional quantities of heroin and cocaine and a “burner,” or firearm, at his Providence residence. He agreed to allow the detectives to search his apartment.

When the suspected heroin was tested at a Drug Enforcement Administration forensic lab, it was determined that the heroin was actually fentanyl.

According to evidence presented to the jury, a search of Roman’s residence by Newport detectives resulted in the discovery of approximately 31 grams of fentanyl, 20 grams of cocaine, cutting agents, $1,400 in cash, and several items used in the packaging and distribution of illegal narcotics. About 10 feet away from the drugs, next to Roman’s bed on top of a stack of shoeboxes, detectives located a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

On May 2, 2018, appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Roman pled guilty to one count each of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and felon in possession of a firearm.

Today, a federal court jury convicted Roman of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The trial was presided over by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith.

Roman is scheduled to be sentence on November 23, 2018.

Possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute are punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison followed by 3 years to lifetime supervised release. Felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison followed by up to 3 years supervised release.

Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years - up to life in federal prison to be served consecutive to all other terms of incarceration imposed in this case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard W. Rose and Terrence P. Donnelly.

United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch acknowledges and thanks the Providence and Cranston Police Departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 490-1092

Updated August 9, 2018

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 18-96