DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, January 27, 2014
Peter F. Neronha
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jim Martin

Cranston Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Trading Xanax Pills for Firearms

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Donald Robbio, 56, of Cranston, was sentenced today to 50 months in federal prison for trading the pharmaceutical drug Xanax for two firearms, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Robbio was arrested on June 28, 2013, moments after he exchanged a significant number of Xanax pills for a 9 millimeter pistol and .380 caliber handgun with an undercover ATF agent.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Robbio to serve three years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Robbio pleaded guilty on September 12, 2013, to being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to information presented to the court, Robbio was convicted previously in state court on felony assault, firearm and manslaughter charges.

At the time of his guilty plea, Robbio admitted to the court that on June 21, 2013, he contacted an undercover ATF agent who was posing as an individual interested in purchasing a controlled substance and in selling firearms. Robbio told the agent he had 300 Xanax pills for sale and inquired if the agent had a “toy to play with.” Three days later, Robbio again engaged the ATF agent in a telephone conversation and arranged to meet the agent in person in order to provide a sample of Xanax pills he was offering. The next day, Robbio sold the agent 35 Xanax pills for $100, and agreed, at Robbio’s request, to meet again to exchange an additional $700 worth of Xanax pills for two firearms. On June 28, 2103, at Robbio’s request, the two men met in a parking lot in Cranston where Robbio exchanged a bag containing 140 Xanax pills for the firearms. Robbio was taken into custody immediately by agents from ATF.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.



Boston Field Division