PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man is facing charges after police say they seized 20 guns and 44 pounds of marijuana.
Philip DeBartolo, 38, of Providence, was arrested and taken into custody Thursday afternoon after a three-month-long investigation, according to Major David Lapatin.
Lapatin said police learned during their investigation that DeBartolo was illegally distributing large quantities of marijuana throughout Providence and West Warwick.
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Police conducted search warrants in both cities and seized 20 guns, seven of which were ghost guns. Lapatin said two of those seven were AR-15 guns-style weapons.
DeBartolo faces 76 charges in connection to the case, including 25 counts of possession of a large-capacity magazine and more than 10 counts of possessing a firearm while delivering and manufacturing controlled substances.
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“We are very grateful for the detectives and federal agents that got these guns off the street because just by looking at this table in front of us we know there are lives that are saved,” Lapatin said, adding illegal marijuana can present dangers. “We don’t know how this was processed, what it’s tainted with, and how many lives could be taken with that either.”
This is not DeBartolo’s first brush with the law.
Court records show DeBartolo previously pleaded no contest to state charges of drive-by shooting, felony assault, and larceny. He also served time in a federal prison after pleading guilty to an 11-count indictment of firearms and drugs charges in 2014.
In that case, he was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison followed by supervised release. DeBartolo was released a year early after a federal judge determined underlying health conditions put him more at risk if he contracted COVID-19. After completing a re-entry program, a federal judge granted prosecutors’ request to reduce his supervised release by one year.
DeBartolo was arraigned in District Court Friday morning. He’s being held without bail as a probation violator in connection to his federal case.
His attorney was not immediately available for comment.