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Press Release

Providence Felon Sentenced for Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
Defendant found to be in possession of a “ghost gun” and ammunition

PROVIDENCE, RI – A convicted felon found to be in possession of a privately made firearm, also known as a “ghost gun,” and hundreds of rounds of ammunition has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Rafael Soriano, 35, pleaded guilty on December 14, 2023, to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced on Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy to 18 months of incarceration to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.

According to information presented to the court, Soriano’s arrest came during a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and United States Postal Inspection Service investigation into individuals who use the United States mail in furtherance of violating federal firearm laws and individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

As reflected in court documents, retailers that specialize in the advertising and sale of firearm parts, ammunition, and firearm accessories shipped orders through the U.S. Postal Service to Soriano and his brother, Lucas Soriano, at their mother’s address. These orders contained items that are commonly used to manufacture privately made firearms that lack serial numbers and other manufacturer or importer markings, rendering them difficult for law enforcement to trace.

ATF and USPIS agents executed a court-authorized search of Rafael Soriano’s residence and seized, among other items, a privately made firearm bearing no serial number, two magazines with a total of 37 rounds of 9mm ammunition, and a bag containing 293 rounds of assorted 9mm ammunition. 

According to court records, Rafael Soriano was previously convicted and incarcerated on attempted armed robbery and drug trafficking charges.

Lucas Soriano was previously convicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and making false statements during the purchase of a firearm. He is currently serving a term of incarceration of 24 months in federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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Contact

Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated June 27, 2024

Topic
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 24-75