Arrests made as part of Attorney General’s Urban Violent Crime Initiative
Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and Pawtucket Acting Public Safety Director Chief Tina Goncalves announced that a Lincoln man and Foster woman were arrested on Monday on a multitude of drug and firearms charges.
The Pawtucket Police Departments Narcotics Unit, as part of the Attorney General’s Urban Violent Crime Initiative and with the assistance of the Lincoln Police Department, executed court-ordered search warrants at 6 Sabin St. in the City of Pawtucket and 18 Ballou Ave. in the Town of Lincoln. The search warrants stemmed from an investigation by the Pawtucket Police Department’s Narcotics Unit into an illegal marijuana grow operation run by Michael Murray (age 31) of Lincoln.
Police seized eight firearms, including two assault rifles, a shot gun, and five handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and approximately $20,000 worth of marijuana.
As a result of the investigation, Murray was arrested and charged with:
- Possession with Intent Schedule I
- Possession of Marijuana in Excess of 5 Kilograms
- License or Permit Required to Carry a Concealed Pistol
- Possession of a Firearm While Committing a Controlled Substance Violation
- Using a Firearm When Committing a Crime of Violence
Shirley Desjarlais (age 30) of Foster was also arrested as part of the investigation and charged with:
- Manufacture/Possession/Deliver Marijuana in Excess of 5 Kilograms
“The participation of Pawtucket Police on the Attorney General’s Urban Violent Crime Initiative task force allows us all to join in the efforts to protect our communities from violent crimes,” said Pawtucket Acting Public Safety Director Chief Tina Goncalves. “We have been able to effectively use the strategy and communication of the task force to reduce any barriers that may have been present in addressing violent crime.”
“This operation illustrates the benefits of working together through our Violent Crime Initiative task force. Among the things driving violence in Rhode Island is the proliferation of multiple firearms in the hands of drug dealers. Make no mistake – firearms, and in particular high-powered firearms like those involved here, are used to protect the trade and intimidate others, or worse. Our partnership allows us to move proactively and swiftly to address these threats,” said Attorney General Neronha. “I am grateful for the excellent investigative work by the Pawtucket Police Department in this particular case, and for the work of all our partners on the task force as we take proactive steps to prevent violence in our urban core. To effectively address these threats to public safety, we must be able to proactively identify and target those who engage in such criminal activity, while recognizing that that activity – as it did here – crosses municipal boundaries.”
The Pawtucket Police Department Narcotics Unit seized approximately 18lbs of usable marijuana, 85 marijuana plants, a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun, Kimber Micro 9mm handgun, FN 509 9mm handgun, Glock 27 .40 caliber handgun, FN 503 9mm handgun, Mossberg Maverick 12-gauge shotgun, Sig Sauer MCX multi-caliber pistol, Sig Sauer 716 .308 caliber rifle, several thousand rounds of various calibers, packaging, and distribution materials. The seized marijuana has an estimated street value of approximately $20,000.
Murray was arraigned and released on $60,000 with surety bail at 6th District Court yesterday. The investigation remains ongoing and may result in future charges.
The Attorney General’s Urban Violent Crime Initiative was established earlier this year and includes the Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls Police Departments, the Department of Corrections, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). 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. The task force has prioritized information sharing and analysis across agencies through the use of a data analyst and platform – funded through a Department of Justice grant awarded to the Office of the Attorney General in 2020. Using this platform, the team can quickly draw connections between different crime scenes and weave together police reports and other records to help identify suspects and witnesses.