PROVIDENCE — A West Warwick couple is accused of trafficking dozens of firearms and making ghost guns, including fully automatic machine guns and triggers to turn semi-automatics into automatic firearms.
Russell Gravier, 41, and Christina Federici, 37, were indicted last week by a statewide grand jury on multiple felony firearm charges, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said Tuesday. Gravier is prohibited from possessing guns due to a felony domestic violence conviction.
The attorney general’s office is accusing the couple of “a significant straw purchasing scheme,” where the pair obtained firearms and parts from local and online firearms retailers.
The investigation stemmed from the arrests of three people in Central Falls and Providence in June, where detectives assigned to the attorney general’s office Urban Violent Crime Task Force seized multiple firearms, large-capacity magazines, cellphones, and drugs.
Then investigators in the Providence Police Department’s intelligence and organized crime bureau began looking into suspected gun trafficking by Gravier and Federici.
On July 20, the investigators arrested the couple and, along with the task force, police from Coventry and West Warwick, and agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, searched several properties on Harris Avenue and Cowesett Avenue in West Warwick.
The detectives reported seizing 37 firearms, including three machine guns, five ghost guns and 23 ghost gun kits, silencers and suppressors, and binary triggers, which convert semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic weapons, according to the attorney general’s office. They also seized hundreds of rounds of ammunition, 223 gun magazines including high-capacity drum magazines, plus body armor vests, holsters and tactical gear.
“As alleged, the weapons recovered here were headed to only one place, our neighborhoods, in the hands of criminals fully prepared to commit acts of violence,” Neronha said in a statement. “I am grateful for the teamwork in this case — we are more effective when working together in this task force environment. I am particularly grateful to the Providence Police investigators and task force members for tracking the down the leads that led to the charges, and for the detectives from all of the other involved departments for their continued outstanding work in this and many other cases.”
Gravier was arraigned on Oct. 13 in Kent County Superior Court with two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a ghost gun, possession of a machine gun, possession of a silencer, possession of a binary trigger, alteration of marks of identification on a firearm, and carrying a pistol without a license. He was released last week on $100,000 surety bail.
Federici is out on bond before her arraignment on Nov. 4 on providing false information in securing a firearm, straw purchasing a firearm, illegal sale of a concealable weapon, sale of a firearm to a prohibited person, and failure to be licensed as a firearms dealer.