Warwick Man Convicted on Firearm Charge

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PROVIDENCE – A Warwick man previously convicted and sentenced to federal prison for bank robbery admitted to a federal judge on Wednesday that he illegally possessed a firearm; that gun was discharged by a juvenile in the man’s home, resulting in a self-inflicted gunshot wound, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Branden Eddie Smith, 37, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

According to information presented to the court, on March 21, 2022, Warwick police and emergency services were called to a Warwick residence several hours after a juvenile discharged a firearm, causing a self-inflicted wound to his knee. The juvenile ultimately told police that, earlier in the evening, he was handling what he believed to be an unloaded firearm; the gun was in fact loaded, however, and when the juvenile pulled the trigger, the firearm discharged sending a bullet through his knee.

Warwick police executed a court-authorized search of the residence and located the firearm, a Glock 42 semi-automatic pistol, as well as eight rounds of .380 caliber ammunition. The gun and ammunition were found inside a safe in the defendant’s bedroom.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on September 29, 2022. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to court documents, Smith was previously convicted of bank robbery in U.S. District Court in the District of Nevada in 2017 and sentenced to fifty-six months in prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.

 The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine D. Lowell.

The matter was investigated by the Warwick Police Department, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

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