Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Woonsocket man has been charged in Third Division District Court with possessing a ghost gun and drug trafficking following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, the Rhode Island Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Providence Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau, and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) Special Investigations Unit.
On November 6, 2023, investigators from the Office of the Attorney General arrested Douglas Fagundes, 28, charging him with one count of possession of a ghost gun, one count of possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a crime of violence, one count of possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and one count of failure to register as a sex offender. The defendant is currently being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) as a result of these new charges and as a probation violator.
“As alleged, this case is an excellent example of our investigators working with our valued local partners in law enforcement to hold a career criminal accountable for violating the law yet again,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Keeping guns out of the hands of those convicted of violent crimes is crucial to making sure our communities are safe from gun violence. I want to thank the investigators from this Office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation Unit for its exceptional work here, as well as all of our local law enforcement partners.”
As alleged, near the end of 2022, investigators from the Office of the Attorney General, ATF and the RIDOC began investigating an individual for suspected violations of firearms laws. During the investigation, investigators learned that the suspected individual obtained several ghost gun frame kits from online distributors and determined that he was holding three ghost gun kits for the defendant until his scheduled release from the ACI on October 1, 2023.
As further alleged, investigators surveilled several phone calls the defendant made to inmates following his release from prison. During these calls, the defendant allegedly referred to possessing a ghost gun and stated that he was residing in an apartment on Warwick Avenue in Warwick, despite being registered as living in Woonsocket. As a convicted sex offender, the defendant is required to register as such with his municipality of residence.
On November 6, 2023, investigators from the Attorney General’s Office, Department of Corrections, Providence Police Narcotics Bureau, Warwick Police Department, and the ATF detained the defendant at a scheduled probation meeting and subsequently executed search warrants. It is alleged that at the defendant’s Warwick Avenue residence, investigators seized a 9mm Polymer80 ghost gun, 246.05 grams of marijuana, packaging material, and a scale.
“Working with our valued partners to address ghost gun possession and armed narcotics traffickers is a priority for ATF,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division. “Investigative partnerships like this one provide our best opportunity to address illegal activity and disrupt cycles of violence.”
“I want to thank the members of RIDOC’s Investigative Unit for all their great work, as well as our partners in the ATF Task Force and Attorney General’s Office,” said Jason J. Masiello, Acting Chief Inspector of RIDOC’s Office of Investigations & Intelligence. “This is a clear example of how interagency collaboration works to keep Rhode Islanders safe.”
The defendant is scheduled for a violation hearing in Kent County Superior Court on November 20, 2023.
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