Police seize ecstasy, assault rifles from Coventry home

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Police seize ecstasy, assault rifles from Coventry home

Postby n1bsbri » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:20 pm

COVENTRY. R.I. (WPRI) — A Coventry man was taken into custody Wednesday after state police said they made a sizable drug bust at his home.

Members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and Coventry police executed a search warrant at 1205 Hill Farm Road at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and seized an AK-47, two AR-15’s, assorted ammunition, two pounds of unprocessed MDMA (ecstasy) and 1,830 ecstasy pills.

Justin Graham, 27, was arrested and charged with possession with the intent to distribute a Schedule I controlled substance and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute MDMA.

The judge ordered Graham to be held in federal custody.

Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell commended investigators for their work in getting dangerous weapons off the street.


http://wpri.com/2014/12/11/police-seize-ecstasy-assault-rifles-from-coventry-home/

Here is the RISP press release:

Press Releases

RI State Police HIDTA Task Force and US Postal Inspectors Arrest Coventry Man on Firearms and Drug Distribution Charges with Seizure of 3 Assault Rifles, Ammunition, 2 Pounds of MDMA and 1,830 Ecstasy Pills
Contact: Captain Christopher J. Dicomitis, Assistant Detective Commander Telephone: (401) 444-1012 E-Mail: christopher.dicomitis@risp.dps.ri.gov

Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces the arrest of a Coventry man on drug distribution charges by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.

On December 10, 2014 at approximately 3:30 p.m., members of the HIDTA Task Force, United States Postal Service and Coventry Police Department executed a court-authorized search warrant at 1205 Hill Farm Road, Coventry, Rhode Island that resulted in the seizure of an AK-47, two (2) AR-15's, numerous rounds of assorted ammunition in various calibers, two pounds of unprocessed MDMA (Ecstasy) and one thousand eight hundred and thirty (1,830) pills of MDMA (Ecstasy).

Justin Graham (age 27) of 1205 Hill Farm Road, Coventry, Rhode Island is alleged to have been in possession of an AK-47, two (2) AR-15's, numerous rounds of assorted ammunition in various calibers, approximately two pounds of unprocessed MDMA (Ecstasy) and one thousand eight hundred and thirty (1,830) pills of MDMA (Ecstasy):

Mr. Graham, who was held overnight at the Wickford Barracks, was ordered detained in federal custody on Thursday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan, following an initial appearance in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with possession with the intent to distribute MDMA, Schedule I controlled substance, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute MDMA.

Colonel O'Donnell commends the Detectives for their diligent work in taking this type of firepower off the street. It is of note that these are the type of weapons that law enforcement faces.

The HIDTA Task Force is managed by the Rhode Island State Police and comprised of members from Providence Police, Pawtucket Police, Johnston Police, Central Falls Police, North Providence Police, West Warwick Police, United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

Related links
Department or agency: Rhode Island State Police

Online: http://www.risp.ri.gov

Release date: 12-11-2014


They do not mention the firearms charges in the press release (other than in the headline). The RISP Superintendent is making it sound like AR15s are deadly assault weapons that need to be removed from the possession of Rhode Islanders. I wonder what they are going to charge the suspect with for possessing guns which are legal in RI?
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Re: Police seize ecstasy, assault rifles from Coventry home

Postby newportri » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:46 pm

It's a violation of 11-47-3 by having access to the firearms while committing a "crime of violence". Crime of violence is defined in 11-47-2 as:
(2) "Crime of violence" means and includes any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of them: murder, manslaughter, rape, first or second degree sexual assault, first or second degree child molestation, kidnapping, first and second degree arson, mayhem, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, any felony violation involving the illegal manufacture, sale, or delivery of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance classified in schedule I or schedule II of § 21-28-2.08, any violation of § 21-28-4.01.1 or 21-28-4.01.2 or conspiracy to commit any violation of these statutes, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault or battery involving grave bodily injury, and/or assault with intent to commit any offense punishable as a felony; upon any conviction of an offense punishable as a felony offense under § 12-29-5.

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/title11/11-47/11-47-2.HTM
http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/title11/11-47/11-47-3.HTM
The press release doesn't state specifically that Justin was at home during the arrest, but they claim he was in possession of the firearms. Even if he wasn't home at the time, I think it is reasonable to assume that Justin was in the dwelling along with both the firearms and drugs at some point.
Whether they will charge them is a different story. They might try to just ban them altogether..
It's interesting that they are holding them in federal custody since they could very well charge them under State law. Maybe the police (rightfully) have little confidence in the RIAG. it could also be that they will use this as an excuse to say it is difficult to charge them of violation of RI gun laws since our gun laws are too weak; they have done that before. If he was being charged by the AG the firearm's charges would most likely eventually be dropped as part of a plea bargain..
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Re: Police seize ecstasy, assault rifles from Coventry home

Postby n1bsbri » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:08 pm

Thanks for the info, it will be interesting to see if we get any follow up on this case.

They arrested a guy, and put out a preening press release. They confiscated a lot of illegal drugs, and charged him with intent to distribute. In spite of all that, all O'Donnell commented on was how they got those dangerous assault weapons off the street.
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Re: Police seize ecstasy, assault rifles from Coventry home

Postby SirSqueeboo » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:32 pm

n1bsbri wrote:Thanks for the info, it will be interesting to see if we get any follow up on this case.

They arrested a guy, and put out a preening press release. They confiscated a lot of illegal drugs, and charged him with intent to distribute. In spite of all that, all O'Donnell commented on was how they got those dangerous assault weapons off the street.


No kidding. Seems his priorities are a little off-balance. The way it's put, they conducted the drug raid as an excuse to take the guns.
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