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COURTS DIGEST

Posted 3/17/21

Man sentenced to prison on gun, drug charges A Cranston man has been sentenced to four years at the Adult Correctional Institutions after admitting to dealing narcotics and possessing an untraceable "ghost gun," according to the office of Attorney

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NEWS

COURTS DIGEST

Posted

Man sentenced to prison on gun, drug charges

A Cranston man has been sentenced to four years at the Adult Correctional Institutions after admitting to dealing narcotics and possessing an untraceable “ghost gun,” according to the office of Attorney General Peter Neronha.

Maliek Smith, 24, pleaded no contest to one count each of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and possession of a pistol without a license, prosecutors announced Monday.

The plea was entered in Superior Court before Justice Joseph Montalbano. After his four-year prison sentence, Smith will serve an additional six-year suspended sentence with probation.

Prosecutors say Cranston Police arrested Smith in October 2020 after receiving a tip regarding a social media video that “that depicted Smith in possession of a handgun.”

Police then located Smith on Howard Street, prosecutors say, at which point he was found to be in possession of a “loaded Glock-style 9mm handgun” with no serial number, 18 rounds of ammunition, and 18 oxycodone pills.

The state last year adopted a new law banning the sale or possession of “ghost guns,” a term encompassing firearms that do not bear a serial number or are made from material such as plastic using a 3-D printer, allowing them to avoid detection.

“Untraceable firearms, referred to as ‘ghost guns,’ have become the weapon of choice for individuals involved in drug dealing and other criminal activity,” Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael Winquist said in a statement from Neronha’s office. “These guns pose a serious threat to public safety. I commend the officers and dispatcher from the Cranston Police Department who worked on the investigation and safely apprehended the armed suspect. I also wish to thank the legislators who passed the law to address these dangerous weapons and the prosecutors who secured a conviction and a sentence of incarceration.”

Neronha added: “It is relatively common, frankly, for my office to prosecute defendants involved in the distribution of narcotics who use illegal firearms. What stands out in this case, however, is that the firearm used by the defendant was intentionally assembled to have no form of identification or serial number – otherwise known as a ‘ghost gun.’ Just last year, the state legislature passed a law to ban possession of ghost guns because of the danger they pose to our communities, since they are sought out by those who are otherwise prohibited from purchasing a firearm legally. I commend the Cranston Police Department for their solid work in taking a ghost gun out of their community.”

According to the statement, Officer Brian Corvese led the Cranston Police investigation of the case.

Johnston firm, founder indicted in fraud scheme

Editor's note: This item has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Gregory F. Aloisio's name and business.

A Johnston man, the real estate firm he founded, and another man from North Providence have been indicted in connection with a scheme that defrauded financially distressed homeowners as well as lending institutions, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Myrus.

Gregory F. Aloisio, 60, of Johnston faces charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, prosecutors say. His firm, Johnston-based Aloisio Group LLC – which authorities say also did business under the name Quietstorm Professional Services – faces the same charges.

Also indicted was 68-year-old John DiFruscio Jr. of North Providence, who prosecutors describe as “associated with Quietstorm Professional Services.” He faces the same charges as Aloisio and the firm.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Aloisio, his company and DiFruscio “held themselves out as negotiators who, for a fee, could assist in keeping properties from being foreclosed upon.”

Instead, they are alleged to have “conspired to fraudulently obtain properties from financially distressed homeowners; fraudulently obtained fees, commissions, and other income associated with the rental, use and short sale of homeowners’ properties; fraudulently purchased properties in short sales and illegally ‘flipped’ them for significant personal gain; and defrauded several financial institutions.”

-- Daniel Kittredge

courts, charges

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