Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced this week that a North Kingstown man was convicted in Washington County Superior Court of multiple counts of manufacturing ghost …
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced this week that a North Kingstown man was convicted in Washington County Superior Court of multiple counts of manufacturing ghost guns following an investigation by the North Kingstown Police Department that began in May 2021 with a Warwick traffic stop.
Nicholas Dailey, 30, entered a plea of nolo contendere to two counts of manufacture and possession of a ghost gun, produced by a 3D printing process, according to a press release from the AG’s Office.
At a hearing on July 21, before Superior Court Justice Melanie Wilk Thunberg, the Court sentenced the defendant to four years, with one year to serve at the Adult Correctional Institution and a three-year suspended sentence.
“Since ghost guns were banned in Rhode Island in mid-2020, our office has prosecuted nearly 50 cases where these untraceable firearms are being found in the hands of individuals involved in criminal activity,” Neronha said. “Ghost guns are fully operable firearms without serial numbers that thus cannot be traced by law enforcement after they are used in criminal activity. They are sought after by individuals who value them for that very reason, and/or cannot pass a background check. They can be made with parts ordered on the internet, or as the case here, from a 3D printer in a person’s living room. There is no question that they are the gun of choice for many Rhode Island criminals, and present a clear threat to public safety. I am grateful to the North Kingstown and Warwick Police Departments for their excellent work during the investigation. Their outstanding efforts led to the seizure of several ghost guns and prevented the completion of additional ones.”
Had this case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in 2021, the defendant manufactured several ghost guns and several pistol frames using a 3D printer at a home in North Kingstown, according to the AG’s Office.
On May 4, 2021, officers from the Warwick Police Department, acting on a tip that the defendant was in possession of ghost guns, conducted a traffic stop of the defendant’s vehicle where they located two loaded 17-round 9mm pistol magazines along with several spent 9mm shell casings, according to the press release. Officers noticed that the magazines did not have manufacturers markings on them and the material they were made from displayed a pattern of parallel lines consistent with markings of items printed with a 3D printer.
During the traffic stop, the defendant admitted to officers that he possessed two 3D printed handguns at his home in North Kingstown, according to prosecutors. Police notified the North Kingstown Police department of the suspected ghost guns.
Detectives later responded to the defendant’s home, and after gaining consent to search, seized two complete 3D printed ghost gun copies of a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic handgun, according to prosecutors. Police say that detectives also seized three defective 3D printed Glock 17 frames, a 3D printer, a laptop, and a box of 9mm ammunition.
The defendant later admitted to 3D printing copies of Glock 17 frames and magazines based on plans that he had downloaded from the internet, according to the AG’s Office, and he also admitted to ordering gun parts that he used to complete the ghost guns.
The two ghost guns were successfully test fired at the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory and deemed to be operable, according to prosecutors.
North Kingstown Police Detectives Gregory Miga and Michael Bernardo and Assistant Attorney General Mark Trovato conducted the investigation and prosecution of the case, with the assistance of the Warwick Police Department.
Around 6:40 p.m., July 7, Warwick Police Officer Connor R. Bemis spotted a red Dodge Avenger allegedly traveling at an “extremely high rate of speed” on the Airport Connector.
After checking the registration, he discovered the vehicle’s plates came back as belonging to a green Subaru. Bemis conducted a traffic stop.
The driver was identified as Michael G. Moran, 58, of 24 Carpenter Court, West Warwick.
“It should be noted that I also observed Moran to be rapidly digging in his center console upon approaching the vehicle, and observed him to quickly close the center console as I approached the passenger side of his vehicle,” Bemis wrote in the arrest report.
Bemis described Moran as “jittery and sweating profusely.” A DMV check revealed that Moran’s driver’s license was currently suspended.
Bemis asked Moran if “there were any narcotics in the vehicle, to which he paused and stated ‘uh no’ while continuing to target glance the vehicle.” Moran allegedly gave Bemis consent to search the vehicle. In the center console, Bemis found a white pill bottle containing pills.
Police identified some of the pills inside. One pill was identified as Amphetamine. Two other pills were possibly muscle relaxers.
Moran was later charged and processed on one count of Possession of Schedule I-V Controlled Substance (10 grams or under). He was also charged with one count of Driving on a Suspended License (second offense). He was also issued a Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal (RITT) summons for Operation of an Unregistered Vehicle.
At 2:34 a.m., July 4, Warwick Police were on specialized DUI patrol in a marked cruiser at a fixed post running radar on I-95 north, just north of Route 4.
Police observed a silver sedan allegedly traveling at 104 mph in a posted 55 mph zone. Officers attempted to catch up to the vehicle, but the driver passed 10-15 vehicles and was traveling too closely behind another vehicle.
Warwick Police Officer Nathaniel Gray was able to get the vehicle’s make, model and registration. The car had Massachusetts plates.
“The vehicle was still traveling at high rate of speed, almost striking the vehicle traveling in front of him,” Gray wrote in the arrest report. “He then passed the vehicle on the right-hand side and started to travel at a faster rate of speed.”
Police again clocked the vehicle at 100 mph, and Gray noted that the vehicle swerved multiple times. Police initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle pulled over.
Police identified the driver as Mike G. Avalo Franco, 23, of 210 Chestnut St., Apt. 2, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Police thought they detected the smell of alcohol, performed a series of standardized field sobriety tests, but “Franco showed no signs of impairment,” Gray wrote.
Police determined Franco would be charged with reckless driving. The car was towed from the scene. Franco was charged with Reckless Driving and Other Offenses Against Public Safety (first offense). He also received RITT summons for Speeding (11+ mph in Excess of Posted Speed Limit), Interval Between Vehicles (Following Too Close), and Laned Roadway Violations.
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