Five Providence Men Indicted in Statewide Illegal Firearms Dealing Scheme

 

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In the second significant case of illegal firearms dealing this month, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that the Statewide Grand Jury returned an indictment charging five Providence men with 38 felony counts, stemming from allegations that they ran a straw-purchasing scheme to sell 89 illegal handguns in Rhode Island between June 2019 and August 2020.

 

Just over three weeks ago, two Providence men were sentenced to serve a combined 16 years in state prison for dealing illegal firearms.


Rashaan Mangum (age 29), is alleged to have bought 89 handguns from firearms dealers throughout Rhode Island using false information and then selling them to prohibited individuals and without proper paperwork.

 

Brady Robinson (age 27), Yovaniell Sostre (age 25), Anthony Jaiman (age 28), and Wascar Rivas (age 25), are alleged to have conspired or solicited Mangum to purchase the handguns.

 

A straw purchase of a gun is a crime where an individual buys a gun on behalf of another in order to avoid federal and state background checks, which are designed to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals who are precluded by law from buying them themselves.

 

“We know that illegal firearms are a critical driving factor in violent crime in Rhode Island, which is why my Office and our partners in law enforcement have made a concerted effort to make these cases,” said Attorney General Neronha. “This indictment is the second major example in just the last month of this kind of dangerous criminal conduct. These defendants ran a significant operation involving dozens of illegal guns, including some that made their way into our communities. 

 

“‘Straw purchases’ are a substantial source of illegal guns in our state and a threat to public safety,” Attorney General Neronha continued. “That’s why my Office has put in legislation again this year to strengthen criminal penalties for straw purchasers of firearms. Our bill also seeks to modify gun purchase applications to include the number of firearms being purchased. Thanks to the passage of legislation we supported last year, these applications are now sent to the police department where the purchaser resides in addition to our Office, therefore alerting the appropriate authorities of any potential concerns.” 

 

It is alleged that between June 2019 and August 2020, Mangum purchased dozens of handguns using false information at various firearms dealers in Providence, Woonsocket, Warwick, Cranston, and North Kingstown.

 

During this time period, Robinson, Sostre, and Rivas conspired with and solicited Mangum to purchase the handguns that Mangum had bought illegally.

 

“Straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms is a serious criminal activity and often puts firearms in the hands of individuals who can’t legally purchase or possess them," said Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division. "ATF remains dedicated to identifying, investigating and arresting these individuals and making our streets and communities safer from violent firearm-related acts."

 

Mangum, Robinson, and Rivas will be scheduled for arraignment in Providence County Superior Court at a future date. Jaiman was arraigned this afternoon in Providence County Superior Court. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Sostre.

 

“This criminal operation led to dozens of illegal firearms being circulated onto our streets, presenting a serious threat of violence within the community,” said Steven M. Paré, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. “This was an extensive, multi-agency investigation resulting in the apprehension of five individuals and dismantled an unlawful straw-purchasing scheme. I commend the Providence Police Intelligence Bureau, Detectives and the other agencies involved for their hard work on this case and the continued dedication of the RI Office of the Attorney General to ensure that firearms are kept out of the hands of violent and dangerous criminals.”

 

Investigator Matthew McGloin of the Providence Police Department; Special Agent Kellie Senecal of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Assistant Attorney General Joseph McBurney and Special Assistant Attorney General Edward G. Mullaney of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and ongoing prosecution of the case.

 

Below is the full list of charges against the defendants:

 

Rashaan Mangum (age 29)

Providence, RI

P1-2021-0527AG

 

On February 15, 2021, the Providence County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Rashaan Mangum with three counts of carrying a pistol without a license, 11 counts of providing false information to secure a firearm, one count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, six counts of conspiracy to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, three counts of conspiracy to sell a pistol to a prohibited person, two counts selling a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, two counts of selling a pistol to a prohibited person, one count of dealing firearms with out a license, and one count of filing a false police report.

 

 

Brady Robinson (age 27)

Providence, RI

P1-2021-0527BG

 

On February 15, 2021, the Providence County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Brady Robinson with one count of conspiracy to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, one count of conspiracy to sell a pistol to a prohibited person, one count of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, one count of solicitation of another to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, and one count of solicitation of another to sell a pistol to a prohibited person.

 

 

Yovaniell Sostre (age 25)

Providence, RI

P1-2021-0527CG

 

On February 15, 2021, the Providence County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Yovaniell Sostre with one count of conspiracy to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, one count of conspiracy to sell a pistol to a prohibited person, one count of solicitation of another to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, and one count of solicitation of another to sell a pistol to a prohibited person.

 

 

Anthony Jaiman (age 28)

Providence, RI

P1-2021-0527DG

 

On February 15, 2021, the Providence County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Anthony Jaiman with one count of conspiracy to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, one count of selling a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, and one count of possession of a pistol without a license.

 

 

Wascar Rivas (age 25)

Providence, RI

P1-2021-0527EG

 

On February 15, 2021, the Providence County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Wascar Rivas with one count of solicitation of another to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork and one count of conspiracy to sell a concealable weapon without proper paperwork.

 

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