Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Rafael Ferrer (DOB: 4/27/80), with a last known address of Fairmont Street, Woonsocket, was sentenced to 30 years for possession of a firearm without a license. Ferrer has a lengthy criminal history including multiple drug and weapon convictions, which qualify him as a habitual offender.
Ferrer was found guilty by a jury on November 3, 2011 after a four day trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause of two counts; possession of a pistol without a license after a previous conviction of possession of a pistol without a license and possession of a firearm after previous conviction of a crime of violence.
Justice Krause sentenced Ferrer to 10 years to serve on each count, to run concurrent, and 20 years, eight years to serve with the remainder suspended with probation, to run consecutive for the habitual offender status. As a habitual offender, Ferrer is not eligible for parole on the eight years to serve sentence.
During the course of the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on September 13, 2010, Massachusetts State Police were on the lookout for a dark-colored SUV travelling on Interstate 195 West towards Providence. Massachusetts State Police Trooper Brent Pereira spotted the vehicle and proceeded to follow the vehicle from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, where he conducted a motor vehicle stop.
As Trooper Pereira approached the vehicle he noticed that the rear passenger seat occupant, later identified as Rafael Ferrer, threw a gray metallic object out of the vehicle over the side of the bridge. When Rhode Island State Police arrived on the scene to assist, they located a black Taurus Brazil .38 Special Revolver near the vehicle with one spent shell casing that was partly in one of the six chambers, and five rounds of .38 ammunition lying on the ground around the handgun.
"At a young age, Rafael Ferrer decided to dedicate his life to crime. His prior drug and weapons convictions illustrate his inability to conform with the standards of good behavior in our society. Rhode Island citizens can be assured that violent criminals like Ferrer are addressed with the severest of sentences," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
Assistant Attorney General Paul Carnes and Special Assistant Attorney General Joseph McBurney prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. Rhode Island State Trooper Heather Donahue led the investigation.
Ferrer has been held without bail since his arrest.