ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Rhode Island

www.justice.gov/usao/ri

For Immediate Release

January 14, 2013

Peter F. Neronha, United States Attorney

Contact: Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357
USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

Armed Career Offender Sentenced to 26 Years in Federal Prison for Hobbs Act Robberies, Federal Firearm Charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Alphonso D. Johnson, 38, of Providence, a career offender, was sentenced today to 312 months in federal prison for robbing a Providence convenience store clerk at gunpoint in April 2011, and for robbing and assaulting a Providence restaurant owner with a pistol two days later, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. also ordered Johnson to serve five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term, Johnson pleaded guilty on October 10, 2012, to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and use and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, We have today another example of a hardened criminal using an illegal gun to victimize others. We also have another example of such a criminal going to federal prison for a very, very long time. I want to thank the Providence Police for their continuing partnership with this Office, and specifically, for the terrific work of the Providence Police Officers involved in this case.

Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements added, Through the tireless efforts of the Providence Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives another career criminal is off the street and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We thank our partners in the U.S. Attorney's office for assisting us in keeping criminals like Johnson off the streets of our city.

At the time of his guilty plea, Johnson admitted to the court that on April 18, 2011, he robbed a Providence convenience store clerk at gunpoint of several hundred dollars in cash, cigarettes and a box of cigars, and that two days later he robbed a West End restaurant owner at gunpoint of more than $4,300 cash in restaurant proceeds, struck her in the face twice with a .25 caliber pistol and kicked her before fleeing on foot. Providence Police officers quickly canvassed the neighborhood and located Johnson hiding between two parked cars a few blocks away. After a brief foot chase and struggle, Johnson was apprehended.

According to information presented to the court, Johnson, whose criminal record includes multiple convictions as a juvenile, includes felony convictions as an adult for felonious assault, possession of narcotics, simple assaults, domestic assault, and threats to a public official.

Johnson has been detained since his arrest by Providence Police

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted Providence Police in the investigation of this matter.

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