DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Rhode Island

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Stephen G. Dambruch
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jim Martin

Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 6 Years in Federal Prison

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man previously convicted on firearm and drug trafficking charges in Rhode Island state court, and who subsequently obtained two firearms through a straw-purchase, was sentenced today to 72 months in federal prison on drug trafficking and firearm charges.


Lawrence M. Crowell, 32, was indicted and arrested in December 2016, during a year-long Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Providence Police Project Safe Neighborhood investigation to identify individuals possessing or trafficking firearms in and around the Chad Brown neighborhood of Providence,


Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.


Crowell pleaded guilty on February 27, 2017, to one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.


At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell also ordered Crowell to serve two years supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration.


As stipulated in a plea agreement filed with the Court, the government and the defense recommended the court impose a sentence of 72 months incarceration. The U.S. Sentencing Guideline imprisonment range in this matter is 97-106 months.


Crowell’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Mickey Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF; and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.


According to court documents, on November 17, 2016, an individual assisting law enforcement purchased $900 worth of marijuana from Crowell. During the transaction, which took place inside Crowell’s Chad Brown neighborhood apartment, Crowell removed a Sig Sauer pistol from his pocket and provided it to the individual for examination. Crowell told the individual that the firearm was “legit” and that he knew another person who had other types of firearms for sale. The firearm was returned to Crowell.


On November 21, 2016, ATF Agents, members of the ATF Task Force and Providence Police executed a court-authorized search of Crowell’s residence.  In a bedroom, agents found nearly 363 grams of marijuana and the Sig Saur pistol. The firearm was loaded with 12 rounds of hollow point ammunition and outfitted with a laser sight.


Additionally, in an attic, agents found a Ruger pistol secured by a gunlock, the key to which was found on Crowell’s key chain.  The Ruger was loaded with 6 rounds of hollow point ammunition. 


The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.


The ATF Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from ATF, Providence Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Fire Department and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.



Boston Field Division