A year-long investigation to identify individuals allegedly possessing or trafficking firearms in and around the Chad Brown neighborhood of Providence, and/or allegedly using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, resulted in the seizure of six firearms, including a machine gun with an attached silencer, significant quantities of heroin and fentanyl, and approximately $21,000 in suspected drug proceeds. Four individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury and detained in federal custody.
In spring 2016, a joint Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives, ATF Task Force and Providence Police investigation was launched to analyze shell casings retrieved from crime scenes in and around the Chad Brown neighborhood and elsewhere utilizing ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBN). NIBN identifies marks left on shell casings unique to a particular firearm. NIBN then assists in linking crime scenes to a firearm. The investigation was expanded to attempt to determine who possessed various firearms used to commit crimes and/or the origin of those firearms.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; John H. Hayes, Resident Agent in Charge of ATF in Rhode Island; and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., today announced that since April 2016, a joint ATF, ATF Task Force and Providence Police investigation has resulted in the seizure of a machine gun equipped with a silencer, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22 caliber revolver; a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, various types and quantities of ammunition, substantial quantities of heroin, fentanyl cocaine and crack cocaine, and approximatlety $21,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
The first of four defendants indicted as a result of these investigations was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2016. On April 6, 2017, a federal grand jury returned indictments against three other individuals in three separate cases. Arraignments in U.S. District Court in Providence were completed on Friday, April 14, 2017.
On April 6, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Edward Trinidad, 29, of Providence, with possessing and transferring a firearm; possession of an unregistered machine gun; possession of an unregistered silencer; distribution of 100 or more grams of fentanyl laced heroin; and two counts of distribution of heroin and fentanyl.
It is alleged that on June 3, 2016, Trinidad sold a machine gun equipped with a silencer to an undercover ATF agent. It is also alleged that between June 24, 2016, and March 31, 2017, Trinidad sold heroin and fentanyl to the undercover ATF agent.
On April 6, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Kevin Arroyo, 29, of Providence, with engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license; possession of stolen firearms; and distribution of heroin. Arroyo was arraigned in U.S. District Court on April 10, 2017, and ordered detained.
It is alleged that on three occasions an undercover ATF agent purchased firearms from Arroyo. It is alleged that on May 26, 2016, Arroyo sold the agent a stolen .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol; on September 21, 2016, Arroyo sold the agent a .22 caliber revolver and 14 grams of heroin; and on April 5, 2017, Arroyo sold the agent a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.
On April 6, 2017, a federal grand jury returned an eleven-count indictment charging General Jones, 30, of Pawtucket, with five counts of distribution of cocaine; two counts of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; two counts of distribution of 28 grams or more of crack cocaine; and one count each possession with the intent to deliver 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and one count of possession with the intent to distribute to cocaine. Jones was arraigned in U.S. District Court on April 14, 2017, and ordered detained in federal custody.
It is alleged that during law enforcement’s firearms investigations, Jones sold cocaine and crack cocaine to an individual assisting ATF in their investigations. On the date of Jones’ arrest, March 9, 2017, search warrants were executed at locations associated with Jones. At one location, from inside a safe, law enforcement seized over 375 grams of cocaine, nearly 100 grams of crack cocaine and approximately $13,000 in cash. At a second location law enforcement seized an additional $8,000 in cash.
Lawrence M. Crowell
On December 15, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Lawrence M. Crowell, 31, of Providence, with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. Crowell was arraigned in U.S. District Court on December 19, 2016, and ordered detained in federal custody.
The ATF Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from ATF, Providence Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Fire Department and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.