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Man sentenced to prison on gun and drug charges
A Cranston man was sentenced to four years imprisonment in adult prisons, according to Attorney General Peter Neronha, after admitting to narcotics and an undetectable “ghost weapon”.
Maliek Smith, 24, did not advocate a count of oxycodone possession with intent to distribute, prohibited person’s possession of a firearm, and unlicensed possession of a pistol, prosecutors said Monday.
The plea was brought before Judge Joseph Montalbano in the Supreme Court. After serving his four-year prison sentence, Smith will be serving another six-year suspended sentence.
According to prosecutors, Cranston police arrested Smith in October 2020 after receiving a lead on a social media video that “Smith was in possession of a gun”.
Police then located Smith on Howard Street, prosecutors said. At that time he was in possession of a “loaded 9 mm Glock-style pistol” without a serial number, 18 rounds of ammunition and 18 oxycodone pills.
The state passed a new law last year banning the sale or possession of “ghost weapons”. This term includes firearms that do not have a serial number or are made with a 3D printer from material such as plastic to avoid detection.
“Incomprehensible firearms known as ‘ghost rifles’ have become the weapon of choice for those involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities,” said Col. Michael Winquist, Cranston Police Chief, in a statement from Neronha’s office. “These weapons pose a serious threat to public safety. I recommend the officers and dispatchers of the Cranston Police Department who worked on the investigation and safely arrested the armed suspect. I would also like to thank the lawmakers who passed the law to address these dangerous weapons and the prosecutors who handed down a conviction and prison term. “
Neronha added: “In all fairness, it is relatively common in my office to prosecute defendants who are involved in the distribution of narcotics using illegal firearms. What is striking in this case, however, is that the firearm used by the defendant was intentionally assembled so that it had no identification or serial number – also known as a “ghost weapon”. Only last year the state parliament passed a law that bans the possession of ghost guns because of the danger to our communities, as they are wanted by people who are otherwise prohibited by law from buying a firearm. I recommend the Cranston Police Department for their solid work in removing a ghost weapon from their community. “
Officer Brian Corvese reportedly led the Cranston Police investigation into the case.
Johnston Company, founder charged with fraud
A man from Johnston, the real estate company he founded, and another man from North Providence were indicted in connection with a venture to defraud troubled homeowners and credit institutions, according to acting US attorney Richard Myrus.
Sixty-year-old Gregory F. Alosio of Johnston is charged with conspiracy on bank and wire fraud, bank fraud, wire transfer fraud and money laundering, prosecutors said. His firm, the Johnston-based Alosio Group LLC, which the authorities also called Quietstorm Professional Services, has to pay the same fees.
Also indicted was John DiFruscio Jr., 68, of North Providence, whom prosecutors describe as “affiliated with Quietstorm Professional Services.” He faces the same charges as Alosio and the company.
According to the US attorney’s office, Alosio, his company and DiFruscio have “excelled as negotiators who, for a fee, could help prevent real estate from being foreclosed”.
Instead, they allegedly “conspired to fraudulently obtain real estate from financially troubled homeowners; fraudulently received fees, commissions and other income in connection with the rental, use and short sale of property from homeowners; fraudulently bought real estate in short sales and illegal “turn” for substantial personal gain; and defrauded several financial institutions. “
– Daniel Kittredge