Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that Elijah Blyden (age 19), of Cranston, was sentenced today to seven years to serve at the ACI for his role in a 2018 home invasion on Hanover Street in Providence. Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Blyden to a 20-year full sentence with seven years to serve and the balance suspended with probation.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the night of June 25, 2018, Blyden and co-defendants Juan Velasquez and Josse Mosquea-Rodriguez made a forced entry into an apartment on Hanover Street in Providence. Once inside, Blyden and the co-defendants held the family at gunpoint, bound them with cords, threatened them with two guns and a kitchen knife, and pistol-whipped one victim. The victims were robbed of cash and jewelry and the apartment was ransacked. As they left, the defendants threatened to kill the victims if they called the police.
During the investigation, the Providence Police discovered numerous social media images depicting Blyden, Velasquez and Mosquea-Rodriguez handling firearms and large amounts of cash. Blyden was prolific in his use of social media and posted many of the images himself.
The two co-defendants previously pleaded to charges arising from this home invasion. On June 12, 2019, Velasquez pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of burglary and was sentenced to a 35-year full sentence with 17 years to serve and the balance suspended with probation.
As a juvenile, Mosquea-Rodriguez's case was handled in the Family Court. On December 18, 2018, Mosquea-Rodriguez (age 17) pleaded nolo contendere to a charge of first-degree robbery in the Family Court. The Court certified him and imposed a 15-year full sentence, with seven years to serve and the balance suspended.
As a certified sentence, Mosquea-Rodriguez is serving at the RI Training School until his 19th birthday. Prior to that birthday, the Court will hold a modification hearing to determine whether he will serve the remaining time at the ACI. Although the case was handled in Family Court, a certified sentence is an adult sentence. Mosquea-Rodriguez has an adult conviction.
Lieutenant Dennis O'Brien and Detectives Charles Matracia and Robert Dumkuski of the Providence Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant Attorney General John Moreira and Special Assistant Attorneys General Edward G. Mullaney and Amy Dodge prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.