PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Three men were sentenced to prison Wednesday for their roles in an armed home invasion in which a Providence family was held against their will.
Jose Rodriguez, Pedro Gomez and Andre Savage pleaded no contest to various charges in the March 2019 incident, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Neronha.
Prosecutors said had the case gone to trial, they were prepared to prove the three men forced their way into a second-floor apartment on Norwich Avenue with the intent to rob the people inside.
All three men were armed with guns, prosecutors said. Once inside the apartment, they encountered a man and pushed him to the ground, hit him in the head with a firearm, then threatened to shoot him if he didn’t keep his head down.
The suspects demanded to know where the drugs were, to which the resident replied that there weren’t any inside the home, according to prosecutors. Investigators later confirmed that, saying they believed the suspects targeted the wrong home.
The man was then brought into a bedroom where there was a female victim, who prosecutors said was also hit in the head by the suspects. In the meantime, their grandson hid in a different bedroom while their son escaped out of a window and called police.
The suspects were still inside as police surrounded the home and evacuated the neighboring buildings out of an abundance of caution.
Several hours of negotiations followed, after which the suspects let the woman and her grandson exit the apartment, according to prosecutors. Police then entered and found the male victim along with the three suspects and their firearms, which they had hidden inside a closet.
Rodriguez, 33, of Warwick, pleaded Wednesday to burglary, using a firearm during a crime of violence, possession of a pistol without a license, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possession of three pistols after being convicted of a crime of violence. The judge declared Rodriguez a habitual offender and sentenced him to 60 years with 50 to serve at the ACI, 20 of which cannot be paroled, and a 30-year suspended sentence.
Gomez, 29, of Cranston, pleaded to burglary, using a firearm during a crime of violence, possession of a pistol without a license, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possession of three pistols after being convicted of a crime of violence. He was given a 50-year sentence with 30 years to serve at the ACI and 20 years suspended.
Savage, 24, of Providence, pleaded to burglary, using a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possession three pistols after being convicted of a crime of violence. He was sentenced to 40 years with 25 to serve at the ACI and the remainder suspended.
“These defendants are precisely the kind of individuals who deserve, and who are receiving, our most focused law enforcement efforts,” Neronha said in a statement. “They, and others like them, drive violent crime in our state. The long sentences imposed yesterday are entirely warranted, and Rhode Islanders are safer as a result.”