Woonsocket Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Violent Facebook Marketplace Robbery in LA Fitness Parking Lot

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha revealed today that a Woonsocket man has been handed a 20-year sentence at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) in connection with a violent first-degree robbery that unfolded in an LA Fitness parking lot in April 2022.

Anthony Richardson, 21, faced justice on February 27, 2024, before Superior Court Justice Stephen P. Nugent. Richardson entered a guilty plea to one count of first-degree robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. The hearing also saw the defendant plead guilty to multiple pending cases, involving larceny, carrying a pistol without a license, conspiracy to carry a pistol without a license, and possession of a firearm with altered identifying marks.

The court, in response, handed down a sentence of 40 years, with 20 years to be served at the ACI, and the remainder suspended with probation.

Attorney General Neronha stressed the threat Richardson posed to public safety, citing a pattern of multiple acts of robbery and larceny in 2022, one of which resulted in significant bodily harm to the victim. Neronha expressed gratitude to the Providence Police for their collaborative efforts and diligence in bringing the defendant to justice.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to present evidence proving that Richardson had orchestrated the robbery during a gold chain purchase arranged through Facebook Marketplace. The incident occurred on April 10, 2022, in an LA Fitness parking lot in Providence.

During the transaction, Richardson and an unidentified passenger arrived in a black Acura with heavy tinted windows. The victim, attempting to safeguard the gold chain, approached the passenger side of the vehicle. The passenger tried to snatch the chain as Richardson began to drive away, ultimately dragging the victim several feet before he managed to free himself. The assailants fled the scene with the stolen chain, leaving the injured victim behind.

Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr., commended the efforts of investigators for holding the defendant accountable. He emphasized the dedication of the Providence Police Department to ensuring public safety and pledged ongoing efforts to remove dangerous criminals from the streets.

The investigation and prosecution were led by Special Assistant Attorneys General Michael S. McCabe and Alec Y. Lengyel from the Office of the Attorney General, along with Detectives Robert Melaragno and Charles Matracia of the Providence Police.




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