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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Two Plead Guilty to Federal Firearm Charges

Charges result from investigation into the theft of a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer

PROVIDENCE – Two Boston area men have pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence to federal firearm charges brought as the result of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and Woonsocket Police Department investigation into the theft of a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer in August 2018.

Charlie D. Vick, 30, of Everett, Mass., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to being a felon in possession of ammunition. Gabriel A. Rosario, 23, of Chelsea, Mass., pleaded guilty on March 7, 2019, to theft of a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer.

Vick and Rosario’s guilty pleas are announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF Kelly D. Brady, and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates.

According to court documents and information presented to the Court, on August 31, 2018, Vick and Rosario traveled from Boston with the intent of buying ammunition from a Woonsocket, R.I., licensed firearm dealer, because Rhode Island state law does not require a background check for ammunition purchases, unlike Massachusetts. Once in the store, Vick asked the store manager for assistance with ammunition, and the manager accompanied Vick to an area of the store away from a countertop where a .22 caliber firearm was displayed. While Vick and the manager were away from the counter area, Rosario took the .22 caliber firearm from the countertop, placed it in his waistband, and left the store.

After Rosario left the store, the store manager and Vick returned to the counter area. Vick, a convicted felon, purchased three boxes of ammunition: a box of .38 caliber Smith & Wesson ammunition, a box of .38 special ammunition, and a box of Remington .45 caliber ammunition. After making the purchase, Vick left the store. Both Vick and Rosario are seen entering a dark colored, late model vehicle and leaving the area. The investigation determined that Vick and Rosario immediately returned to Boston. Within a few days the stolen firearm was sold on the streets of Boston.

To obtain assistance from the public in identifying the two men responsible for the theft of the firearm, ATF offered a $1,500 reward leading to the identification of one or both of the men. At least two individuals contacted the Woonsocket Police Department and identified Charlie Vick as being one of the two men depicted in surveillance camera photos publicized by law enforcement. The investigation later determined that the two men arrived and left the parking lot of the gun shop in a vehicle rented in the Boston area by Charlie Vick.

The defendants made initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Providence on January 17, 2019. Rosario is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on June 14, 2019. Vick is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief Judge William E. Smith on August 22, 2019.

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

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF Kelly D. Brady, and Woonsocket Police Thomas Oates thank the United States Marshals Service and the Chelsea, Mass., Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and arrest of Vick and Rosario.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
19-63
Updated May 16, 2019