Providence man found guilty of trafficking firearms

Published on Thursday, November 02, 2023

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been found guilty in Providence County Superior Court of straw-purchasing firearms and trafficking them to prohibited buyers.

On Monday, October 30, 2023, following the conclusion of a three-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, the jury found Amado Duverge (age 38) guilty of two counts of purchasing or transferring a firearm on behalf of a person prohibited under state or federal law, two counts of conspiracy to sell concealable weapons without proper paperwork, one count of providing false information in securing a firearm, and one count of selling concealable weapons without proper paperwork.

A straw purchase of a firearm takes place when an individual buys a firearm on behalf of another who could not legally purchase firearms themselves. This includes those prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior convictions for crimes of violence, certain domestic violence convictions, fugitives from justice, or those that are not legal residents of the United States. The ultimate buyer avoids federal and state background checks and the required gun safety course. 

“Understanding who is purchasing guns and more importantly who they are secretly purchasing them for is an integral part of our proactive approach to targeting violent crime,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Straw purchasing is a dangerous crime because it circumvents laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons and other prohibited persons. This was another team effort, and I want to thank the Providence Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives for their collaboration and diligence in helping bring this defendant to justice.”

During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant purchased firearms on behalf of people prohibited from buying a firearm, sold concealable weapons without proper paperwork, and provided false information on a firearm purchase application.

In early 2022, Providence Police detectives sought and obtained multiple search warrants after investigating Amado Duverge. 

On the afternoon of March 8, 2022, Providence Police apprehended the defendant after a brief struggle on Pocasset Avenue. Investigators then executed the warrant for the defendant’s apartment at 91 Clarence Street where they located two 12-gauge shotguns, a .50 caliber rifle, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and ammunition in the defendant’s bedroom. In the defendant’s kitchen, investigators found a large, industrial-sized white barrel filled with chicken feed. Wrapped in cellophane, within the chicken feed, investigators found a Taurus .38 revolver, a Canik 9-millimeter, a Remington 870 shotgun, and more ammunition.

An ATF agent and Providence detectives checked all the gun purchase records for Amado Duverge. A review of multiple transactions revealed misrepresentations that defendant made to obtain and secure the firearms.

Later that day, the defendant agreed to an interview with detectives, during which he admitted to purchasing firearms on behalf of people prohibited from owning guns. Through a detailed recorded statement, he stated he sold firearms to those without green cards and had shipped several guns to the Dominican Republic. The defendant further confessed that he intended to sell and ship the white barrel in his kitchen to the Dominican Republic.

“I want to thank the men and women of the Providence Police Department for their work in combatting straw purchases,” said Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez Jr. “We must prevent these firearms from getting into the hands of violent criminals and I applaud everyone who worked on this case in this case.”

“Holding accountable those who straw purchase firearms is a top priority for ATF,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Division. “When an individual buys a firearm on behalf of someone who cannot legally purchase firearms themselves, the ultimate owner of the weapon avoids gun safety laws like background checks and firearm safety courses. The ATF is committed to identifying individuals who jeopardize the safety of our communities by straw purchasing firearms.”

Special Assistant Attorney General Edward G. Mullaney of the Office of the Attorney General, Detectives Everett Carvalho and Matthew McGloin of the Providence Police, and Special Agent Meaghan Croke of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives led the investigation and prosecution of the case.