Providence Felon Detained on Ammunition Charge
PROVIDENCE, RI – Eric Valdez, 28, of Providence, was ordered detained in federal custody at his arraignment on Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition.
The indictment, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., and Mickey Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was brought as a result of a Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation.
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.
According to court records, in September 2011, Eric Valdez was convicted in federal court of possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and resisting arrest by a federal agent. He was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years supervised release.
After Valdez was released from prison, in 2013 in Rhode Island state court Valdez was convicted of assault, trafficking cocaine and other offenses. He received an additional 9 months federal sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release.
According to court records and information presented to the courts, in November 2017, Valdez was in a vehicle with two other men where Providence Police located a loaded 9mm handgun. A court authorized search of Valdez’ residence executed simultaneously resulted in the seizure of two bags containing 9mm ammunition and a digital scale containing drug residue. As a result of the Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation, Valdez was arrested on a state charge of trafficking heroin by the Providence Police. He was charged by way of a federal indictment with being a felon in possession of ammunition. Valdez pleaded guilty to a lesser drug possession state charge and was sentence to 3 months to serve at the ACI. Valdez appeared for arraignment in U.S. District Court on Monday on the federal indictment and was ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is 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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted Providence Police in the investigation of the most recent alleged incident resulting in the federal charge brought in this matter.