Leap for Freedom in Rhode Island Fails
A Modesto, California, man has been arrested in Rhode Island on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) for the District of Rhode Island.
On February 16, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the East Providence Police Department noticed suspected gun trafficking on social media. They traced a Facebook post to a residential location and set up a stakeout. An hour later, they observed a white Honda Eye pull up to the residence. Four men got into a different car. A fifth man allegedly placed a suitcase in the trunk of the Honda and then got into the back seat of the car, which had illegally dark-tinted windows.
When officers stopped the Honda for the window-tinting violation, the man allegedly exited the car and jumped off the I-195 bridge into the Seekonk River. He was captured about an hour later along the river bank by East Providence Police and Rhode Island State Police.
Unlawful possession of guns
The driver claimed to be a Lyft driver with no involvement with the suspect. The officers obtained a search warrant for the suitcase. They found 13 handguns and a rifle. Fingerprints confirmed the man who allegedly placed the suitcase in the Honda was a convicted felon on federal supervised release.
The 28-year-old man had previously pleaded guilty to methamphetamine trafficking in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He was sentenced in May 2016 to 60 months in federal prison.
Not Guilty Yet
The USAO did not detail the exact charges against the defendant, but Title 18, Chapter 44, Section 922(g)9 of federal law, prohibits a felon from possessing firearms. The penalty for possession of a gun by a felon is up to 10 years in prison and as much as a $250,000 fine.
A federal criminal complaint is only an accusation, according to the USAO. The defendant is "presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."
Anyone charged with a federal offense needs competent legal defense. Call the experienced criminal defense team of the Sigal Law Group at 818-325-0570.