Providence Man Admits to Selling Silencer Equipped Machine Gun and Fentanyl Laced Heroin
PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man arrested in April 2017 during a year-long Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation to identify individuals possessing or trafficking firearms in and around the Chad Brown neighborhood of Providence, pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing and selling an unregistered machine gun equipped with a silencer and selling 240 grams of fentanyl laced heroin to an undercover federal law enforcement agent.
Edward Trinidad, 29, plead guilty as charged in an indictment returned on April 6, 2017, to one count each of possession of an unregistered machine, possession of an unregistered silencer, and transfer of a machine gun; two counts of distribution of heroin and fentanyl; and one count of distribution of 100 grams or more of heroin.
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.
Trinidad’s guilty plea is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Mickey Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF; and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Trinidad admitted to the Court that on June 3, 2016, he sold an undercover ATF agent an unregistered Koch Model 94 machine gun equipped with a silencer for $2,500. Trinidad also admitted to the Court that on June 24, 2016, he sold the undercover agent 29.61 grams of fentanyl laced heroin for $1,800; on November 9, 2016, he sold the undercover agent 109.42 grams of fentanyl laced heroin for $5,500; and that on March 31, 2017, he sold the agent 101.15 grams of a material containing fentanyl for $5,500.
In spring 2016, the ATF, the Rhode Island ATF Task Force and the Providence Police Department launched a joint Safe Streets Neighborhoods investigation to analyze shell casings retrieved from crime scenes in and around the Chad Brown neighborhood and elsewhere, utilizing ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBN). The investigation was expanded to attempt to determine who possessed various firearms used to commit crimes and the origin of those firearms.
NIBN identifies marks left on shell casings unique to a particular firearm. NIBN then assists in linking crime scenes to a firearm.
The investigation, publicly disclosed in April 2017, resulted in the seizure of the machine gun equipped with a silencer, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22 caliber revolver; a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, various types and quantities of ammunition, substantial quantities of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine, and approximately $21,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
Trinidad, who has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on April 7, 2017, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 11, 2018. Possession of an unregistered machine gun, transfer of a machine gun and possession of an unregistered silence are each punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison followed by up to 3 years supervised release. Distribution of heroin and fentanyl is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison followed by up to a life term of supervised release with a minimum 3 years. Distribution of 100 grams or more of heroin is punishable by up to 40 years and no less than 5 years of imprisonment followed by a life term of supervised release with a minimum of 5 years.
At sentencing, Trinidad also faces fines of up to $7,270,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.
The ATF Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from ATF, Providence Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Fire Department and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.