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Press Release

State Inmate Sentenced to Federal Prison for Arranging Sale of a Firearm and Meth Sales from Behind Bars

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Rhode Island state prison inmate who arranged by telephone from within the prison to sell a firearm and methamphetamine to an individual outside the prison whose telephone number he was provided by a fellow inmate was sentenced on Monday to 48 months in federal prison on firearm and drug trafficking charges, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.

According to information presented to the court, in October 2020, Tyler Bagley, 29, telephoned his then girlfriend, Bernice Chase, 39, of Providence, and, using coded language, instructed her to call a phone number he provided to her to arrange for the sale of a firearm that he had previously obtained. Chase called the number and arranged to meet the next day with the buyer to provide him with a Glock9mm pistol in exchange for $450. About an hour after the transaction was completed, Bagley telephoned Chase and instructed her to deposit $200 into his prison account and for her to keep the remainder of the proceeds. Unbeknownst to Bagley and Chase, the individual that purchased the firearm was an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, ad Explosives.

About a month later, Bagley contacted Chase by telephone from inside the prison and, using coded language, told Chase to again contact the person that purchased the firearm and to sell him 28 grams of  methamphetamine.  A day later, Chase and the ATF undercover agent met, and she provided the agent with 14 grams of meth in exchange for $800. Chase told Bagley that she could not get the full 28 grams, but she was able to get 15 and made 300 dollars profit. Bagley instructed Chase to keep half of the proceeds and to deposit half into his prison account.

Analysis at a DEA laboratory established that the methamphetamine sold to the undercover agent weighed 14.058 grams and was 97% pure.

Tyler Bagley pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on July 16, 2021, to felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He was sentenced on Monday by U.S. District Court Judge William E. smith to 48 months of incarceration to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release.

Bernice Chase pleaded guilty on September 28, 2021, to a two-count information charging her with felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7, 2022.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zechariah Chafee.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated October 26, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 21=117