WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A West Warwick couple is facing numerous charges after investigators found more than three dozen firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in West Warwick over the summer.
Detectives searched several locations on Harris and Cowesett avenues back in July as part of an ongoing investigation by the Urban Violent Crime Task Force into firearms trafficking and ghost gun manufacturing.
Police said between the two locations, detectives discovered an array of firearms and ammunition, including three fully automatic machine guns, five ghost guns and one pistol with an obliterated serial number.
Investigators also found hundreds of rounds of various calibers of ammunition, approximately 223 assorted magazines, 23 ghost gun kits, 16 silencers and suppressors, as well as various other firearm components and tools to manufacture firearms.
On top of that, officers recovered three body armor vests, assorted holsters and tactical gear, according to authorities.
The suspects, identified as 41-year-old Russel Gravier and 37-year-old Christina Federici, were taken into custody and are both facing several charges.
Gravier has been charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a ghost gun, possession of a machine gun, possession of a silencer, possession of a binary trigger, alteration of marks of identification on a firearm, and carrying a pistol without a license.
Federici is charged with providing false information in securing a firearm, straw purchasing a firearm, illegal sale of a concealable weapon without proper paperwork, sale of a firearm to a prohibited person, and failure to be licensed as a firearms dealer.
Gravier and Federici “orchestrated a significant straw purchasing scheme where they sourced firearms and parts from local and online firearm retailers,” according to authorities.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha commended the diligent work of detectives in tracking down the suspects.
“The weapons recovered here were headed to only one place, our neighborhoods, in the hands of criminals fully prepared to commit acts of violence,” Neronha said.
Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh Clements said this investigation should “serve as a strong message to those involved in the sale and production of illegal firearms.”
“law enforcement officials will exhaust every avenue in their pursuit of justice,” Clements said.
Detectives believe the firearms and ammunition discovered in West Warwick is connected to a previous investigation out of Providence and Central Falls, where three people were arrested on drug and gun charges.