PROVIDENCE — A Warwick man faces five years to life in federal prison when he is sentenced in March after a jury in Providence convicted him of trafficking methamphetamine and possessing a firearm as a felon while drug trafficking.
Jon Cascella, 49, of Warwick, was convicted Wednesday on four counts of distribution of methamphetamine, two counts of distribution of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, and one count each of possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm arm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Cascella’s conviction was announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch.
According to the government’s evidence presented at trial, on five occasions between March 29 and May 4, 2017, Cascella sold between 1.5 grams and 7.7 grams of methamphetamine to a Warwick undercover police officer for between $100 and $750. The transactions were electronically monitored and recorded. Beginning shortly after the first transaction, Cascella repeatedly expressed an interest in purchasing a firearm for protection. The undercover officer agreed to assist Cascella obtain a firearm.
According to the government’s evidence, on May 4, 2017, Cascella met with an ATF undercover agent who exchanged a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun and $600 in cash for 7.4 grams of methamphetamine. A storage garage where the transaction for the firearm took place was outfitted with several law enforcement video and audio recording devices. Cascella was arrested moments after he took possession of the firearm.
A court authorized search of Cascella’s residence following his arrest resulted in the seizure of approximately 9.6 grams of methamphetamine.
According to the government’s evidence, following his arrest Cascella told investigators that he needed the firearm for protection because methamphetamine had been stolen from his residence. Kent admitted to investigators that he previously served five year prison sentences in Texas and Florida, having been convicted in each state on bank robbery charges.
Cascella will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on March 2, 2018.
Distribution of methamphetamine is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment followed by 3 years to lifetime supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000; distribution of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine are punishable by up to 40 years imprisonment followed by up to 4 years to lifetime supervised release, and a fine of $8,000,000; felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by up to life in federal prison – with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
Casella has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on May 4, 2017.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.
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