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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Woonsocket Resident Pleads Guilty To Hobbs Act Robbery, Firearm Charges





PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Tyronne Seams, 29, of Woonsocket, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Tuesday to his role in a September 2013 armed robbery at a Woonsocket residence, during which time he and an accomplice allegedly fired their weapons at the occupants, assaulted at least one person, and fled with a bag of cocaine and a firearm they allegedly stole from one of the occupants, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey.

Seams, who pleaded guilty as charged in a three-count indictment to one count each of conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, faces a statutory penalty of a minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment when he is sentenced on June 12, 2015, by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith.

Appearing before Chief Judge William E. Smith on Tuesday, Seams admitted to the court that on September 12, 2013, he conspired with David Bunnell, 22, of Franklin, Mass., to plan the robbery of a Woonsocket residence in order to acquire drugs. Soon after, Seams admitted, armed with a handgun and a double barrel shotgun, the two men broke into the intended apartment.

Once inside the apartment, Seams admitted to the court, he and Bunnell fired their weapons at or near the occupants of the apartment. Seams admitted that after subduing the occupants, he grabbed a gun from one of the occupants, assaulted one of the occupants and demanded to know where drugs could be found. Seams admitted that he located and took a bag containing cocaine and then fled with the drugs and the gun taken from one of the residents.

According to court documents, inside a second floor apartment Woonsocket Police Department officers discovered a substantial amount of blood; numerous spent shell casings from at least two firearms; bullet holes in the kitchen counter, bathroom door and bathroom wall; an individual with a head wound from blunt force trauma; and materials associated with the preparation and sale of drugs.

Bunnell, who has been detained along with Seams since their arrest by Woonsocket Police on October 19, 2013, is awaiting trial on charges of one count each of conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

An indictmentis merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

 The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

Woonsocket Police Department officers and detectives were assisted in the investigation of this matter by agents and officers from ATF, the DEA Drug Task Force, Rhode Island State Police, North Smithfield Police Department and the Franklin and Blackstone, Mass., Police Departments.

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Updated June 22, 2015