Rhode Island Archives:

PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) — The Pawtucket Red Sox, the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliates of the Boston Red Sox, on Monday announced that its owner Ben Mondor has died. He was 85.

Mondor, who is a two-time winner of the International League Executive of the Year award, died at his home in Warwick Neck on Sunday evening. “He was an incredible and charitable man who was first and foremost devoted to his wife Madeleine, along with his PawSox family and the entire community at large,” the club said in a brief statement.

Funeral arrangements and other details were expected to be announced later on Monday.

In 1982, Mondor was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Rhode Island College. He was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004, and was elected to the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – A Providence, Rhode Island police officer on Wednesday was sentenced to 60 years, 40 of them in prison, for raping a woman in 2007, officials said.

Marcus Huffman, a suspended 13-year police force veteran, was found guilty of first degree sexual assault against a female who was then only 19 years old.

On March 18, 2007, Huffman was on duty when he noticed that a girl was denied access to the Providence nightclub “Platforms.” Bouncers denied the entrance to the teenager because she was intoxicated.

Huffman offered her a ride home which she accepted. The 19 year-old Massachusetts’ woman passed out in the patrol car and Huffman drove her to the District 2 police substation. Video surveillance ratifies that the pair entered the substation that night.

The teenager woke up at the substation with her pants, underwear and bra on the floor next to her. The Providence law enforcement agent also left DNA evidence on the victim’s underwear. He alleged that the sexual encounter was consensual.

The victim and her father claimed that it was rape because she would have never agreed to have sexual intercourse due to the fact that she is a lesbian.

After the sexual assault she went to a nearby family member’s house. They called 911 and shortly after three policemen, including Huffman showed up to take a complaint about the alleged incident.

In the report, Huffman did not mention that he encountered the victim earlier that night. The police officer has been suspended without pay because of the felony sexual assault charge.

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NORTH SCITUATE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) — A total of 18 people were arrested and will be charged on child pornography related charges after ten teams of over 100 state, federal, and local law enforcement agents executed search warrants across Rhode Island on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Over the past several months, multi-agency investigation “Operation Safe Child” was initiated, and undercover agents identified 20 Rhode Island residences actively involved in obtaining and sharing images of child pornography on the Internet.

As a result, investigators successfully obtained direct downloads of child pornography from the suspects’ residences. Subsequently, search warrants were obtained for the residences, which culminated with Wednesday morning’s operations.

Upon execution of the search warrants, detectives discovered thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

The 18 individuals arrested were identified as men between the ages of 17 and 48. The juveniles, who were not identified, will be petitioned to Family Court.

“This concerted effort between state, federal and local law enforcement demonstrates a powerful tool to combat this nefarious activity,” said Colonel Brendan P. Doherty of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said the most important objective in law enforcement is the protection of American children. “Unfortunately, there are those who continue to exploit and abuse our children, and make no mistake, the manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography does exactly this,” he said said.

“The Department of Justice and this Office are committed to combating these crimes, and today’s round-up is witness to the commitment of all law enforcement across Rhode Island, federal, state and local, to work together to that end,” he added.

Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston said the agency will continue to track down and prosecute predators with all of its available resources. “Predators stalk and attack the most vulnerable in our society, our children. Left on the streets, predators could, and do, victimize their communities time and time again,” he said.

Child pornography has dramatically increased as Internet use has become commonplace. According to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, images increasingly seem to feature younger children – infants and toddlers – being molested in front of cameras in more violent and egregious ways. Most are abused and photographed by a parent, relative or someone else in a position of trust.

More than 8,600 people have been prosecuted at the federal level since October 2006 in relation to child pornography. Over the past 1.5 year, the arrests made by the Rhode Island State Police/ICAC Task Force in connection with child pornography has increased by more than 500 percent.

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NORTH SCITUATE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) — A total of 18 individuals were arrested and will be charged on child pornography related charges after ten teams of over 100 state, federal, and local law enforcement agents executed search warrants across Rhode Island on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Over the past several months, multi-agency investigation “Operation Safe Child” was initiated, and undercover agents identified 20 Rhode Island residences actively involved in obtaining and sharing images of child pornography on the Internet. 

As a result, investigators successfully obtained direct downloads of child pornography from the suspects’ residences. Subsequently, search warrants were obtained for the residences, which culminated with Wednesday morning’s operations.

Upon execution of the search warrants, detectives discovered thousands of images of child pornography and videos.

“There is no more important objective in law enforcement than the protection of this nation’s children. Unfortunately, there are those who continue to exploit and abuse our children, and make no mistake, the manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography does exactly this,” U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said.

The Department of Justice and this Office are committed to combating these crimes, and today’s round-up is witness to the commitment of all law enforcement across Rhode Island, federal, state and local, to work together to that end,” he added.

Child pornography has dramatically increased as Internet use has become commonplace. According to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, images increasingly seem to feature younger children — infants and toddlers — being molested for the cameras in more violent and egregious ways. Most are abused and photographed by a parent, relative or someone else in a position of trust.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – A Providence, Rhode Island man, who is also a Liberian national, was sentenced on Friday to 37 months in federal prison and a potential deportation for being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors announced.

Patrick Johnson, 26, is currently serving a sentence in a state prison for possession with intent to distribute narcotics. He will serve his new sentenced after completing his current one. After completing his prison time he will be referred to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for possible deportation to Liberia.

On March 9, 2009, two Providence police officers stopped a vehicle which was driven by Johnson in an erratic manner on Glenbridge Avenue. The officers approached the vehicle while Johnson was reaching next to the center console. He was asked to show his hands, to which Johnson refused.

Police officers observed that the defendant had a clear plastic bag in his left hand. As police were removing Johnson from the vehicle he threw a clear plastic bag containing suspected marijuana from his left hand to the ground. Inside the vehicle, law agents found a .38 caliber revolver loaded with six live rounds. Johnson admitted that he was the owner of the firearm.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – A Providence, Rhode Island man was sentenced on Monday to four years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm, prosecutors announced.

Rodney Wilcox, 24, pleaded guilty to being in possession of a firearm which was stolen from a Providence police officer’s home. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. Wilcox was previously sentenced to more than a year of imprisonment for a prior crime.

On May 28, 2009, Providence Police Narcotics officers spotted Wilcox in the vicinity of Whelan Road carrying an object in his waistband as he walked towards the detectives’ undercover vehicle. The law agents detained him and asked to raise his hands. Wilcox grabbed the object from his waistband and fled the scene.

During the pursuit, Wilcox was seen throwing the object along a fence line. The officers continued pursuing him until one of them was able to tackle Wilcox while approximately 30 bystanders surrounded them and told the detectives to leave Wilcox alone.

However, after arresting Wilcox, the detective returned and recovered the discarded object which turned out to be a .40 caliber police firearm with 13 rounds of ammunition in the magazine and one in the chamber. It was previously reported as stolen from a local police officer’s residence.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – Three North Providence, Rhode Island town councilmen, including the President of the Town Council, were arrested by federal agents on Thursday for extortion and bribery charges.

It is alleged that the councilmen accepted a $25,000 bribe in return for favorable votes on a zoning change for a retail development project. Council President Joseph S. Birchfield, and Town Councilmen Raymond L. Douglas III and John A. Zambarano were among the arrested.

Birchfield, 42, Douglas, 42, and Zambarano, 47, all residents of North Providence, were arrested early on Thursday by FBI Agents. Each made an initial appearance in a U.S. District Court, who released the defendants on $50,000 unsecured bond.

According to the charges, the three councilmen voted in favor of amending the Town’s Comprehensive Plan to re-zone a six-acre parcel of land from Commercial Professional and Residential General to Commercial General Use in exchange for a $25,000 cash payment from the developer. The developer sought a zoning change to allow for the construction of a supermarket in the zoning area.

In late summer 2008, the developer began discussions with the Town of North Providence to develop the land. The supermarket project was first presented to the Town Council in early October 2008. The matter came before the council on several occasions before a vote to approve the zoning change occurred on February 10, 2009. The vote to approve the project was 7-0.

The defendants held several meetings and discussions planning their actions. The bribe was delivered by the developer’s attorney to Zambarano. Disbursement of the bribe money was completed the day after the council’s February 10th vote.

The case is the result of an investigation by the FBI, with the assistance of the Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police, DEA, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – A Central Falls, Rhode Island man was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors announced on Monday.

Napoleon Andrade, 29, was arrested on April 12 for federal drug charges, but he pleaded not guilty. Andrade’s activities were under investigation by the Central Falls police.

On April 12, Andrade was indicted on one count of possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute and the attempted possession of more than 50 grams of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison on the crack cocaine charge and a term of 40 years in prison on the cocaine charge. Andrade also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for his possession of firearm charge.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – A Dominican Republic native and citizen was sentenced on Tuesday to 36 months (3 years) in federal prison and three years of supervised release for illegally re-entering the U.S. after being previously convicted and deported, prosecutors said.

Elvin Cruz Then, aka Elvis Then, 42, of Central Falls, Rhode Island, was arrested on drug charges in May 2009. Then was previously convicted in 1996 in North Carolina for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. In June 1999, after serving his sentence, he was deported to the Dominican Republic.

On May 16, 2009, the Rhode Island State Police received information that a man in a white Toyota in Cranston, would be in possession of a large amount of cocaine to distribute and sell. They learned that the cocaine would be concealed in hidden compartments of his shoes.

The police officers set up surveillance in the area, located the vehicle, made a positive identification of the driver, and stopped the vehicle. The driver, Elvis Then, was seen trying to conceal or to reach something from his shoes. He was removed from the vehicle.

Then was wearing a pair of sneakers that had the bottom replaced with rubber inserts. Seven bags of cocaine were recovered after removing the hidden compartments. At the time of his arrest, Then gave the officers a false name and driver’s license. He will be once again deported after completing his sentence.

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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (BNO NEWS) – Two Providence, Rhode Island men were sentenced on Monday for unrelated incidents involving firearms possession, prosecutors announced.

Michael A. Stokes, 20, was sentenced to 10 years; 20 months to serve in prison and 100 months suspended with probation, for possession of a stolen firearm.

Stokes was previously convicted and was on probation at the moment of his arrest. He served 8 months of a 3 year sentence for driving a vehicle without consent and assault on a Corrections officer. He was released on probation.

On February 19, police officers spotted Stokes driving. He intended to escape and tossed an object out of the vehicle. The officers were able to detain him outside a Providence residence and recovered the object which resulted to be a loaded .22 caliber pistol.

Janssye Toucet, 22, was sentenced to 10 years, 9 to serve in federal prison and the rest on probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm after committing a crime of violence and possession of a firearm without license.

At the time of his arrest, Toucet was on probation, having served one year of a ten-year sentence in various drug cases.

In the early hours of February 6, local citizens alerted police officers that a man was carrying a gun on a detail outside a Broad Street club. The suspect was spotted and pursued on a foot chase. Toucet dropped the gun on the sidewalk which was quickly recovered.

Toucet bumped with a cruiser and was arrested. The gun recovered was a loaded .45A with one round in the chamber and five in the magazine.

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