Providence man sentenced to serve 8 years in state prison for trafficking fentanyl and possessing a ghost gun

Published on Wednesday, November 09, 2022

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve eight years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to trafficking fentanyl and possessing a ghost gun following his arrest by the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force in March 2022.

Tyrece McCants (age 31) entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of possession with intent to sell one ounce to one kilogram of fentanyl, one count of possession of a ghost gun, one count of possession of a firearm while possessing with intent to deliver fentanyl, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

At a hearing on October 27, 2022, before Superior Court Magistrate John F. McBurney III, the Court sentenced the defendant to 15 years, with eight years to serve at the ACI, and a seven-year suspended sentence with 15 years of probation.

“Here again we have the all too familiar scenario of a dangerous drug dealer armed with a Polymer80 ghost gun sourced from an out-of-state online ghost gun kit company. We have charged approximately 50 cases involving such guns over the past two years, and it should come as no surprise that that these ghost gun kits, obtained without the necessity of a background check, are sought by those seeking to make money by providing arms to criminals or criminals seeking to arm themselves,” said Attorney General Neronha. “I am grateful to the men and women of the Rhode Island State Police for their continued outstanding work in this case and in so many others.”

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on March 29, 2022, the RISP HIDTA Task Force seized fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, cash, drug paraphernalia from the defendant’s residence, and following a brief foot chase, a ghost gun the defendant discarded as he fled from investigators.

In the weeks leading up to the defendant’s arrest, members of the HIDTA Task Force opened an investigation into suspected fentanyl distribution at a home on Newark Street in Providence.

Following a period of surveillance, on March 29, investigators executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Newark Street residence. During the execution of the warrant, the defendant fled from HIDTA Task Force investigators.

During the brief foot chase that followed, the defendant discarded a pistol from the waistband of his pants. Investigators apprehended the defendant shortly thereafter.

Investigators recovered the pistol, a Polymer80 9mm ghost gun. From inside of the defendant’s residence, investigators seized approximately 37 grams of fentanyl, 21 grams of cocaine, a minimal quantity of marijuana, bottles of cutting agent, packaging materials, digital scales with drug residue, $2,199 in cash, and other drug paraphernalia.

“The HIDTA Task Force plays a crucial role in targeting and arresting those individuals who are driving significant drug trafficking in our state,” said Rhode Island State Police Colonel Darnell S. Weaver. “Thanks to their strong work and our work with the Office of the Attorney General, this defendant will cease to be a threat to the safety of Rhode Islanders. As always, I appreciate the great collaborative efforts of our Troopers and prosecutors at the Attorney General’s Office in bringing this defendant to justice.”

Special Assistant Attorney General Daniel Hopkins of the Office of the Attorney General and Officer Manuel Sifontes of the RISP HIDTA Task Force led the investigation and prosecution of the case.