Two individuals facing illegal firearms and drug charges

Published on Friday, March 26, 2021

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré announced that two individuals are facing multiple felony charges stemming from an investigation into firearms and violent crime in the Providence area by investigators from the Providence Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General.

Jose Rodriguez (age 24) and Michelle Chase (age 43) were arraigned yesterday in Sixth Division District Court on firearms and drug charges, following their arrest on March 24, 2021 by Providence Police investigators and investigators from the Office of the Attorney General.

"To effectively combat gun violence in Rhode Island's urban core, we have to be able to proactively identify those who engage in such criminal activity and recognize that that activity in many instances crosses municipal boundaries," said Attorney General Neronha. "This investigation, combining the resources of the Providence Police Department and this Office, has resulted in the apprehension of two individuals who, as alleged in the complaint, are utilizing firearms in connection with their drug-dealing activity. I am grateful for our partnership with the Providence Police Department in this ongoing, long-term effort, and for the assistance of the Central Falls Police Department in executing the state search warrant in their city."

Rodriguez is charged with one count each of possession of a firearm while in possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and conspiracy to violate the Rhode Island Uniform Controlled Substance Act.

Chase is charged with one count each of possession of a firearm while in possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and conspiracy to violate the Rhode Island Uniform Controlled Substance Act.

During the early morning hours of March 24, investigators executed a warrant for the seizure of firearms, narcotics, and related paraphernalia at an apartment on Tiffany Street in Central Falls. During the search of the apartment, officers seized a loaded .45 caliber pistol, over 10 grams of cocaine, over $1,900 in cash, and drug paraphernalia.

As alleged in the affidavit underlying the search warrant, Rodriguez and Chase were known to law enforcement as suspects in alleged criminal activity in the greater Providence area. Rodriguez is alleged to have ties to the Get Money Family (GMF) gang based in Providence.

"The Providence Police Department is fortunate to have an ongoing partnership with the Attorney General's Office that has afforded our men and women the opportunity to reach beyond our city to continue our investigations and eventually lead to the apprehension of violent and dangerous criminals," said Commissioner Paré. "Having this ability is yet another tool that the members of the Providence Police Department have to better curb drug and gun violence in the city of Providence."

Sergeant Nicholas Ludovici, Investigator Matthew McGloin, and Investigator Jonathan Desmarais of the Providence Police Department; Assistant Attorneys General James Baum, Joseph McBurney, Special Assistant Attorney General Edward G. Mullaney, and Investigator William Dwyer of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and ongoing prosecution of this case. The Central Falls Police Department assisted with the execution of the warrant in that city.

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