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Press Release

Providence Felon Sentenced To 37 Months In Federal Prison On Firearm Charge

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – William McKinney 23, of Providence, was sentenced on Thursday to 37 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., and Colonel Steven G. O’DonnellSuperintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered McKinney to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. McKinney pleaded guilty on August 26, 2013, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to information presented to the court, on December 28, 2012, a Providence Police patrolman and a Rhode Island State Police trooper working together in a marked cruiser on routine patrol encountered McKinney. As the patrolman attempted to speak with McKinney, he pivoted the right side of his body away from the officer, began to back away, turned and ran. As the patrolman and State Police trooper pursued him through the backyard of a Southside residence, McKinney tossed a loaded handgun to the ground. McKinney was apprehended a short distance away and the officers retrieved the firearm, a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol which contained eight hollow point bullets.

According to information presented to the court, McKinney admitted to Providence Police that he had been in possession of the firearm because he had “beefs with people” and mentioned the recent homicide of a relative.

According to information presented to the court, McKinney had been convicted previously in state court on drug possession and drug trafficking charges.

 The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at

Contact: 401-709-5357

Updated June 22, 2015