Four Indicted in Crack Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy Run from Inside RI State Prison
PROVIDENCE, RI –A Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and members of the Rhode Island ATF Task Force has resulted in the indictment of four individuals, three of them alleged to be members or associates of the C-Block street gang, for their alleged roles in a crack cocaine distribution conspiracy run from inside the Adult Correctional Institutions.
According to information presented to the Court, it is alleged that the conspiracy operated at the direction of James Gomes, 29, an inmate at the Adult Correctional Institutions. The grand jury indictment charges Gomes, and his mother, Lisa Ellis, 50, of Pawtucket, with conspiracy, distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base, and three counts of distribution of cocaine base.
The indictment also charges Joshua Moore, 28, of Pawtucket with conspiracy and three counts of distribution of cocaine base, and Gerald Price, 33, of Cranston, with conspiracy and distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base.
According to information presented to the Court, it is alleged that Gomes, Moore and Price are members or associates of the C-Block street gang.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
The investigation and resulting indictment are announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Divisionof ATF.
According to information presented to the Court, it is alleged that from inside the prison, Gomes arranged crack cocaine sales to individuals outside of the prison. It is alleged that Gomes, using his prison call account and the accounts of others, placed calls to people outside of the prison directing them to distribute narcotics to certain individuals.
It is alleged that Gomes frequently called his mother, Lisa Ellis, and would direct her to establish conference calls with Moore and Price. During the conference calls, it is alleged that Gomes would direct Ellis, Moore and/or Price to sell crack cocaine to others. Some of the sales were made to an undercover law enforcement officer. After the sales, Ellis, kept a small portion of the proceeds for herself and deposit the rest of the money into Gomes’s ACI prison account.
It is alleged that members of the conspiracy were responsible for the sale of a total of approximately 112 grams of crack cocaine.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Milind M. Shah.
The ATF Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from ATF, Providence Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.