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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Rhode Island

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peter F. Neronha, United States Attorney

Contact: Jim Martin, Public Information Officer
(401) 709-5357

Woonsocket Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison

Robert O. Robinson, 4 others sentenced in crack cocaine conspiracy run out of bar in Woonsocket

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Robert O. Robinson, 30, of Woonsocket, the convicted organizer and leader of a crack cocaine trafficking conspiracy run out of a bar in Woonsocket, was sentenced today to a total of 264 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey; and Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Robinson was convicted by a federal court jury in June 2012 of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and ten counts of distribution of crack cocaine.

The drug trafficking conspiracy was uncovered during a joint investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, Woonsocket Police and ATF agents during wide–ranging firearm and drug investigations in Woonsocket. The investigations led to the arrest of sixteen individuals and the seizure of more than three– dozen firearms.

In addition to being sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi to 240 months in prison on conspiracy and drug charges, Robinson, who was on federal supervised release at the time of his arrest in June 2011, was also sentenced to a consecutive sentence of 24 months in federal prison for violating terms of his supervised release. Robinson was on federal supervised release for a previous drug trafficking conviction.

Four others involved in the drug trafficking conspiracy, Tonia J. Rawlinson, 34; Jason Roman, 36; Courtney Desrochers, 22; and Richard E. Marks, 26, all of Woonsocket, previously pled guilty to distribution of crack cocaine.

Marks was sentenced in July 2012 to 60 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release; Roman was sentenced in September 2012 to 33 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years supervised release; Desrochers was sentenced in September 2012 to 12 months and one day in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release; and Rawlinson was sentenced in August 2012 to 3 years of probation, the first 12 months to be served in home confinement with electronic monitoring.

According to evidence presented to the jury at trial, Robinson led the drug trafficking conspiracy out of Talus Bar in Woonsocket. During the course of a three–month investigation, a confidential informant would go to the establishment and place orders for crack cocaine at the bar. The drugs were delivered to the informant by Robinson or one of his co–defendants. Many of the transactions were electronically recorded.

The cases against Robinson and his co–defendants were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard W. Rose and Ly T. Chin.