DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Zachary A. Cunha
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jim Martin

Convicted Felon Is Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing 14 Firearms

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A convicted felon who leaped into the Providence River in an effort to evade arrest in February 2022, shortly after members of the East Providence Police Department Special Investigations Unit (SIU) watched him place a suitcase containing 14 firearms in the trunk of a vehicle, was sentenced today to 6.5 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

According to information presented to the court, on Feb. 17, 2022, SIU surveillance observed James Darosa, 30, exit an East Providence residence and place the gun-laden suitcase in the trunk of a rideshare vehicle, and then board the vehicle as a passenger. A short time later, East Providence Police initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle.

As officers approached, Darosa got out of the rear passenger door and jumped off a bridge into the Providence River. With assistance from Providence Police and Rhode Island State Police, Darosa was located along the shoreline and arrested. The suitcase that Darosa had placed in the trunk of the vehicle was found to contain 14 guns - 13 handguns, 4 of which were reported stolen and 1 of which had an obliterated serial number, and 1 semi-automatic rifle.

On Jan. 5, 2023, Darosa pleaded guilty to a federal charge of being a felon in possession of firearms. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to a total of 78 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.

The case in U.S. District Court in Providence was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Michael Seaman.

U.S. Attorney Cunha thanks the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Providence Police Department and the Rhode Island State Police for their investigation and assistance in this matter.

This case was being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.


Boston Field Division