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Justice News

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

Friday, April 5, 2019

Providence Gang Member Sentenced on Firearm Charge

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation and prosecution culminated today with the sentencing of a member of the Hanover Boyz street gang to 51 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Anthony Washburn, 33, of Providence was arrested by Cranston Police in July 2018 during a traffic stop, when officers seized from his vehicle a firearm and a stamp collection reported stolen from a Cranston residence.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Washburn to serve a term of supervised release of 3 years upon completion of his term of incarceration. Washburn pleaded guilty on January 14, 2019, to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Washburn’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Cranston Police Chief Michael J. Winquist, and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.

According to court documents and information presented to the Court, on July 25, 2018, a Cranston Police patrolman pulled over a vehicle with an expired temporary license plate being driven by Washburn. As the officer approached the vehicle, he observed both the driver and a front seat passenger moving within the vehicle, appearing to reach for something in the center console area. The officer requested that Washburn exit the vehicle while telling the passenger to remain inside the vehicle.

Upon the arrival of a second officer, the passenger was removed from the vehicle and the vehicle was searched. Officers discovered a 12-pack box of beer on the floor behind the driver’s seat that contained an open bottle of alcohol, several beers, and a sock containing a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic firearm.

Inside the center console officers discovered and seized a small digital scale consistent with use in narcotics trade. Inside the trunk of the vehicle officers discovered a large shopping bag containing a stamp collection. The passenger was found to be in possession of $3,400 in cash she said belonged to Washburn.

Further investigation by Cranston Police revealed that the firearm and stamp collection were reported stolen in a housebreak in Cranston, and that the expired temporary license plate was counterfeit.

According to court records, Washburn was previously convicted in Rhode Island state court on firearm and drug trafficking charges.

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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zechariah Chafee, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the FBI and the FBI Safe Street Task Force for their assistance in the preparation of this matter for prosecution.



Firearms Offenses
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
Updated April 5, 2019