U.S. Attorney’s Office
April 27, 2012
District of Rhode Island
Hells Angel Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison on Firearm Charge
PROVIDENCE, RI—Christian A. Rufino, 42, of Brewster, New York, an admitted member of the New Roc (New York) chapter of the Hells Angels, was sentenced Thursday to 180 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on a federal firearm charge, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Marco Palombo, Jr.
Rufino pleaded guilty in August 2011 to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was arrested in December 2009 by a Cranston Police officer during a routine traffic stop.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. sentenced Rufino as an armed career criminal. Previously, Rufino was convicted in New Bedford Superior Court in September 1995 of assault and battery by a dangerous weapon and in March 1998 of armed robbery with intent to murder. In January 1990, Rufino was convicted in the U.S. District Court of Maine with bank robbery by force, violence, and intimidation.
According to information presented to the court, in December 2009, a Cranston Police officer on routine patrol stopped a rental vehicle being driven by Rufino on Route 95 for speeding. The officer detected a strong odor of marijuana and removed Rufino from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle by the officer resulted in the seizure of a small bag containing cocaine which Rufino described as “just a little blow.” The officer also seized a loaded .38 caliber handgun and additional ammunition from the trunk of the vehicle.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose. The matter was investigated by Cranston Police; the FBI’s Safe Street Task Force; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.