PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that during the month of December 2021, the prosecution of significant violent crime cases led to the conviction of five defendants, resulting in prison sentences totaling 54.5 years, five defendants indicted by state grand juries, and a further 23 defendants charged by way of criminal information. In addition, 14 guns, including two AR-15 rifles, were seized from defendants.
“As too many Rhode Islanders know, there is a slow grind of gun violence playing out every month – every day – in our urban neighborhoods. The causes of that gun violence are many, and while Rhode Island is faring better than most states, the reality is that violence is up across the country and here at home. This is why a proactive approach is so necessary, reflected in our partnership with police departments through our Urban Violent Crime Initiative, and the overall outstanding policework of the men and women in uniform across Rhode Island,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Our focus has to be on our urban areas, where illegal guns, often equipped with high-capacity magazines, are being used by criminals to settle scores or protect other criminal activity. I’m grateful for our partnership with law enforcement that allows us to move proactively and swiftly to address these threats.”
The following is a compilation of noteworthy cases during the month of December.
Urban Violent Crime Initiative:
On December 22, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and Pawtucket Acting Public Safety Director of the City of Pawtucket Chief Tina Goncalves announced that a Lincoln man and a Foster woman were arrested and charged with multiple drug and firearms offenses. Investigators seized eight firearms including two .223 caliber Sig Sauer AR-15’s.
The Attorney General’s Urban Violent Crime Initiative was established in early 2021 and includes the Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls Police Departments, the Department of Corrections, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Attorney General has deputized officers from law enforcement agencies in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls to provide greater ability to investigate suspects across municipal jurisdictions.
As part of this initiative, prosecutors, investigators, and analysts work together to gather data and intelligence, analyze the information to support investigations and prosecutions, and guide violent crime enforcement priorities.
On December 1, a Providence man was sentenced to serve 7 years in state prison for possessing illegal guns and drug trafficking. One of the illegal guns possessed by the defendant is tied to a major firearms trafficking case investigated by the Office of the Attorney General, Providence Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms, and Explosives (ATF) involving a straw purchasing scheme to sell 89 illegal guns.
On December 2, Attorney General Neronha announced that a Central Falls man was found guilty of a 2020 Pawtucket murder with an illegal gun.
On December 3, a Providence man was sentenced to serve 4 years in state prison for possessing illegal guns.
On December 13, a Woonsocket man was sentenced to serve 40 years in state prison for a 2019 murder with an illegal gun.
On December 14, a Providence man was sentenced to serve 3.5 years in state prison for possessing an illegal gun and drug trafficking.
On December 1, two Woonsocket men were indicted for the April 11, 2021, murder of Isaias Bulus in Providence.
On December 23, Attorney General Neronha announced that a Providence man was indicted for the October 12, 2021 murder of Melbin Ricardo Perez Reyes at a laundromat on Broad Street in Providence.
On December 10, a North Providence man was indicted for the May 1, 2021, murder of Brian Cervini in North Providence.
On December 10, a Woonsocket man was indicted on multiple felony counts including assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon resulting in serious bodily injury, and domestic assault with a deadly weapon.
New Cases Charged by Criminal Information
During the month of December 2021, 23 defendants were charged in Superior Court by way of criminal information with various firearms related felony crimes.
|Trejon Collins, P2-2021-3602AG||Michael Feliz, P2-2021-2604AG|
|Drew Watts, P2-2021-3635AG||Angel Echevarria, P2-2021-3743AG|
|Lewaun Harley, P2-2021-3650AG||Benjamin Barclay, P2-2021-3746AG|
|Johan Rodriguez, P2-2021-3651AG||Davis Civil, P2-2021-3794AG|
|Benjamin Morrissette, P2-2021-3652AG||Martin Diaz, P2-2021-3796AG|
|Jason Dupree, P2-2021-3670AG||John Rosa, P2-2021-3727AG|
|Chekawn Fields, N2-2021-0345A||Johan Gonzalez, P2-2021-3832AG|
|Justin Lopez, P2-2021-3680BG||Brandon Brown, P2-2021-3811AG|
|Devin Fernandes, P2-2021-3668AG||Terrell Paniss, P2-2021-3827AG|
|Daron Abney, P2-2021-3715AG||Elijah Harris, P2-2021-3817AG|
|Wilson Mendes, P2-2021-3733AG||Sha-King Young, P2-2021-3824AG|
|Melvin Fermin Jiminez, P2-2021-3657AG|