Career offender to serve 5 years for helping ACI inmate deal drugs


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man has been sentenced to several years in prison for his role in helping an inmate deal crack cocaine from inside the ACI.

According to the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, Gerald Price, 34, was sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Price previously admitted in court that, at the direction of ACI inmate James Gomes, 30, he delivered drugs to a customer of Gomes who is not behind bars. The deal was set up but a conference call between Gomes and Price, and was allegedly coordinated by Gomes’ mother, Lisa Ellis, 51, of Pawtucket.

Prosecutors said that in June of 2018, Gomes called his mother, who then allegedly joined Price into the call. During the 3-way call, Gomes told Price that he had someone who wanted to buy crack cocaine. Price agreed and would said he would give the money from the sale to Ellis.

Later that day, Price arranged to meet with the buyer, an undercover police officer, in Providence a few days later. At that meeting, Price gave the undercover officer more than 30 grams of crack cocaine in exchange for $1,920, which he did give to Ellis.

Gomes then asked Price to sell a gun to the same buyer, however after initially agreeing to do it, Price later declined because he believed the buyer was an undercover police officer.

Price, who previously served time in jail on several occasions for drug and firearm charges, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, and distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base.

In addition to the five year sentence, Price must also serve four years of supervised release.

Gomes, who pleaded guilty in October to one count each of conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base, and to three counts of distribution of cocaine base, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 19.

The ATF and the Rhode Island ATF Task Force investigated the incident.

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