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Man charged with DUI after striking cruiser

A Middletown man has been charged with driving under the influence after the vehicle he was driving struck a marked Cranston Police cruiser early Saturday morning.

Clay R. Sinatra, 24, was additionally cited for refusal to submit to a chemical test and presence of alcoholic beverages while operating or riding in a motor vehicle, according to police. He was held overnight pending an appearance before a bail commissioner.

In a statement, police said the accident occurred at approximately 12:26 a.m. when an officer conducting a patrol in a marked cruiser stopped at a red light at the intersection of Park and Elmwood avenues. The cruiser was then rear-ended by a white Nissan Altima traveling west on Park Avenue.

Neither the officer nor the operator of the Nissan was injured, according to police.

“While speaking to the operator of the vehicle that struck him, the officer recognized signs of alcohol impairment,” the statement reads. “An open bottle of vodka was also seized from the front passenger floorboard of the car.”

Sinatra was subsequently been administered a series of field sobriety tests, which police say he failed. He was then placed under arrested and transported to Cranston Police headquarters, where he is said to have refused a chemical breath test.

In the statement, Chief of Police Col. Michael Winquist notes that the accident marks the second time in less than three months that a marked police vehicle has been struck by an allegedly impaired driver. The previous incident occurred during the early-morning hours of July 4 at the intersection of Wayland and Preston avenues.

“This is the second time in the past three months a marked police vehicle has been struck by an alleged impaired operator. Fortunately, none of these crashes resulted in severe injuries to the officers, impaired operators and other drivers on the roadway,” Winquist said. “Today, there are many safe and convenient alternatives to driving while under the influence, such as ride-sharing services and designated drivers. There is simply no excuse to drive impaired, and if caught, you will be arrested.”

Man sentenced to prison for enticing minors online

A man who authorities say used a false online person to solicit sexually explicit videos from a number of teenage boys has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison.

Paul J. Stabile, 39, received the 151-month sentence Sept. 26 in U.S. District Court, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman. His prison term will be followed by lifetime supervised release.

Stabile pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of inducement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity and possession of child pornography.

According to prosecutors, the investigation that led to the charges against Stabile began in December 2017 when the mother of a 14-year-old boy from Nevada contacted the FBI regarding her son being the victim of online enticement.

Authorities say the investigation found that Stabile used the online persona of “Cindi Mennillo” – presented as a 16-year-old girl from Newport – to convince boys between the ages of 13 and 15 to “engage in explicit sexual activity in live stream videos over Facebook Messenger and Skype.”

Stabile is said to have falsely told the Nevada boy with whom he was communicating that “Cindi” was unable to provide reciprocal video due to technical issues. Instead, he is said to have sent “images, both pornographic and non-pornographic, of an athletic young female purported to be ‘Cindi.’”

In November 2018, authorities executed a court-authorized search warrant Stabile’s home, which resulted in the seizure of multiple computers and digital media devices. A forensic audit of those devices uncovered “hundreds of images and videos of child pornography, including videos of dozens of young teenage boys performing a sex act in a similar manner to the Nevada-based minor victim,” the statement reads.

The Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Warwick and Cranston police, and the Washoe County Sherriff’s Department in Nevada assisted the FBI with the investigation, according to Weisman’s office.

Traffic stop yields cocaine, $13K in cash

An ongoing investigation into the distribution of cocaine in the city led to the Sept. 25 arrest of a Central Falls man, according to Cranston Police.

David Leite, 41, is charged with one count of manufacturing/possession/delivery of cocaine, one ounce to one kilogram, police said in a statement. He was arraigned in Third Division District Court and ordered held without bail pending an Oct. 3 court hearing.

Police say a rental vehicle driven by Leite was stopped on Sept. 25 as part of an “ongoing investigation into an individual suspected of distributing large amount of ‘crack’ and powder cocaine” in the city. A search of the vehicle is said to have uncovered 39.5 grams of crack cocaine, 12.4 grams of powder cocaine and more than $13,000 in cash.

“Detectives placed Mr. Leite David under arrest and with the assistance of detectives from the Central Falls Police Department executed a court-authorized search warrant at his residence,” a statement from police reads. “An additional amount of unknown powder was seized at this location which will be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health Toxicology Lab for testing.”

--Daniel Kittredge

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