Woonsocket man sentenced to serve 5 years in state prison on illegal firearm and drug trafficking charges



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Woonsocket man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve five years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) stemming from his arrest in 2020 by the Woonsocket Police Department while in possession on fentanyl and an illegal handgun.


Alexis Sierra (age 19) entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count each of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl, possession of a firearm while delivering a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm after having previously been convicted of a crime of violence.


At a hearing on September 3, 2021, before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, the Court sentenced Sierra to serve two concurrent five-year sentences at the ACI. The Court also sentenced Sierra to an additional seven-year suspended sentence with probation to be served consecutive to his five-year sentences at the ACI.


“Make no mistake: armed drug dealers play a major role in driving urban violence. Identifying these criminals and building cases against them before they can harm others, whether through the drugs they deal or the guns they wield, is a key component of our strategic efforts to make our neighborhoods safer,” said Attorney General Neronha. “I am grateful for the excellent work of the Woonsocket Police Department to remove a significant public safety threat from their city.”


Had the case proceeded to a trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the evening of September 2, 2020, Sierra was arrested following the execution of a search warrant at his residence on Rockridge Drive, where investigators seized fentanyl, an illegal handgun, and drug paraphernalia.


Prior to his arrest, the Woonsocket Police Department had identified Sierra as a suspect in an investigation into gun violence and drug trafficking in the greater Woonsocket area.


That evening, investigators executed a search warrant at Sierra’s Rockridge Drive residence and seized 4.6 grams of fentanyl, a Taurus G3c 9mm handgun, and drug paraphernalia.


In 2019, Sierra was convicted of felony assault. Under Rhode Island law, individuals convicted of crimes of violence are prohibited from possessing a firearm.


“Members of the Woonsocket Police Department are committed to investigations that target individuals whose illegal activities threaten the safety of the people of Woonsocket,” said Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas F. Oates III. “Individuals involved in drug trafficking and possession of illegal firearms will always be priority targets of investigations of the Woonsocket Police Department.”


Special Assistant Attorney General Alison Bittl of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Joseph Zinni and Michael Flood of the Woonsocket Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.




Ninety-three-percent of coronavirus cases in the U.S. are linked to the Delta variant. That's according to the latest numbers from the CDC which looked at the last two weeks of July. However, the Delta strain accounts for 98-percent of the infections when looking at the region where states like Iowa and Kansas are located.       A new report shows fewer jobs were added in the U.S. than expected. Payroll processing firm ADP says 330-thousand positions were added last month, which is much fewer than the 650-thousand jobs analysts were expecting. The ADP figures come ahead of the jobs report that'll be released by the federal government on Friday.       Attorneys for former President Trump are attempting to block the release of Trump's tax records to a U.S. House committee. A motion was filed with a federal court after the Justice Department gave the go-ahead for the Treasury Department to release the documents. Trump's lawyers claim there isn't a legitimate reason for Congress to access them.       A majority of New Yorkers want Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign. That's according to the results of a Marist survey which shows 59-percent of New Yorkers feel that way. Meantime, the poll results also say 32-percent think the governor should serve out the rest of his term.       There's a new service that will help out folks in trouble. Citizen, an app that notifies users about crimes and emergencies in their area, is rolling out a new service that will call 911 for those who need help. It will set users back about 20-dollars.       Guests at the upcoming Met Gala in New York must show proof they're fully vaccinated against COVID and wear masks. This follows news that all New York Fashion Week shows next month will require COVID shots too. The gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, called "America: A Lexicon of Fashion," will be held on September 13th.