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Providence man who possessed illegal gun and large capacity magazine sentenced to serve 5 years in state prison

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Providence man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve five years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI), stemming from his 2019 arrest outside of a city nightclub for the illegal possession of a firearm.

Gustavo Mazuelos (age 24) entered a plea of nolo contendere to carrying a pistol without a license on April 15, 2021.

Mazuelos failed to appear for his sentencing hearing on April 24, 2021, and the Court issued a warrant for his arrest. Law enforcement subsequently located and arrested Mazuelos on June 14, 2021.

At a hearing on Monday before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, the Court sentenced Mazuelos to serve a full five-year sentence at the ACI.

"The defendant's conduct – hanging out at night in a nightclub parking lot with a loaded firearm and mischief in mind – echoes the dangerous behavior of so many other young men in our urban core," said Attorney General Neronha. "To make matters worse, the defendant's illegal firearm also had a high-capacity magazine – still legal in Rhode Island – loaded with 27 rounds. Illegal guns, combined with extended magazines that maximize a defendant's ability to cause death and destruction, are making our streets and neighborhoods unsafe for so many. And that is why every day of the long prison sentence imposed by the court is absolutely necessary and appropriate."

Had the case proceeded to a trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on December 7, 2019, Mazuelos was arrested by members of the Providence Police Department's Violent Crime Task Force while he was in possession of a pistol without a license and a large capacity magazine.

That evening, officers on patrol in the vicinity of Lovera night club on Broad Street stopped a vehicle, in which Mazuelos was the passenger, in the parking lot of the club. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers seized a Glock 17 9mm pistol with an extended magazine containing 27 rounds from under the front passenger seat.

Following his arrest, Mazuelos waived his Miranda rights and admitted to possessing the pistol.

"Providence Police continue to focus on removing illegal firearms from the hands of criminals, with 144 firearms being seized so far this year," said Steven M. Parι, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. "Year to date, arrests related to firearm offenses have more than doubled compared to the 2020 calendar year and officers will continue to work aggressively to rid the streets of dangerous weapons, such as the one involved here. I commend Detective McGloin and Investigators Smith and LaBianca and the Office of the Attorney General for the successful investigation and prosecution of this case."

Special Assistant Attorney General Edward G. Mullaney of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Matthew McGloin, Investigator Jonathan Smith, and Investigator Vincent LaBianca of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.


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