Police Log 11-09-23

Posted 11/9/23


At 8:31 p.m., Sept. 21, Warwick Police on a DUI enforcement patrol on Post Road spotted a silver four-door sedan traveling south on Elmwood Avenue.

According to the arrest report the …

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Police Log 11-09-23



At 8:31 p.m., Sept. 21, Warwick Police on a DUI enforcement patrol on Post Road spotted a silver four-door sedan traveling south on Elmwood Avenue.

According to the arrest report the vehicle swerved over the lines and appeared to be having “difficulty maintaining its lane of travel.”

Police pulled a U-turn and followed the vehicle to the area of Haxton’s Liquors on Post Road and the vehicle approached the on-ramp for Route 37 West.

The vehicle “rapidly jerked to the right, taking the on-ramp and failing to utilize a turn signal,” police said. Police initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as James P. Mitchell Jr., 35, of 1393 Main St., Third Floor, West Warwick.

Police asked Mitchell to submit to a series of standardized field sobriety tests.

“Mitchell was observed to be smoking a cigarette and was refusing to exit the vehicle after numerous requests to exit,” Warwick Police Officer Kevin P. Grant Jr. wrote in the arrest report. “He was advised that he would be placed under arrest for obstruction, to which he willingly exited the vehicle.”

Police noted the “overwhelming odor” of alcohol, but Mitchell told police that he was “not drunk.” Following the sobriety tests, police asked Mitchell to consent to a “preliminary breath test.” He refused.

Police charged Mitchell with DUI of Liquor (BAC unknown) and he was also cited for Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test, Refusal to Submit to a Preliminary Breath Test, Laned Roadway Violations and Timing of Turn Signal.


Around 2:30 a.m., On Oct. 2, Warwick Police were on routine patrol driving south on Jefferson Boulevard near Chestnut Street when they spotted a vehicle parked at Greenmed Pros, near the intersection of Walnut and Chestnut streets.

Police noted a man and a woman and a “large amount of trash” outside the vehicle. At first the couple told police they saw “baggage” on the ground and were stopping to pick it up.

Then, police spoke to the pair separately. The woman allegedly changed her story and “admitted that they were outside of the marijuana dispensary, going through the trash cans in an attempt to locate discarded marijuana plants/seedlings that (the male suspect) would use to grow at his house.”

Police asked the woman if “they had anything inside of their vehicle.” She allegedly told police that they were able to “recover plants from the trash” and they were in the vehicle’s trunk. She gave police consent to search the vehicle.

Police say they found a “discarded trash bag with several marijuana plants that had been removed from the dumpster,” according to the arrest report.

Police looked further and say they also found a “plastic Tupperware bin containing several other discarded marijuana plants” and a “tied-off baggie containing three orange capsules” in the glove compartment.

Police identified the man as Edward J. Burton, 39, of 240 Simmonsville Ave., Apt. 2, Johnston. Police identified the woman as Carleen M. Villella, 62, also of Johnston.

Warwick Police on the scene contacted the manager of Greenmed Pro. He told police that he had previously told Villella “that she was no longer allowed on the property” and that neither had permission to go through their dumpsters.

The manager told police he didn’t want to pursue charges for the “stolen marijuana plants” or trespassing, but did want to file a No Trespass order against both Burton and Villella.

Burton was also charged for possession of a controlled substance, because police said he could not produce a prescription. He was arrested and transported to Warwick Police Headquarters. Villella was released from the scene.

Burton was charged with Possession of a Schedule I-IV Controlled Substance (less than 10 grams).

Providence man to serve 12 years in state prison for first-degree sexual assault

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced the sentencing of a Providence man for sexually assaulting a female victim in Warwick in 2021.

Following a Kent County Superior Court hearing on Oct. 20, Francisco Vasquez,38, of Providence was sentenced to serve 12 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI).

Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos sentenced Vasquez to 25 years, with 12 years to serve at the ACI, and a 13-year suspended sentence with 25 years of probation, according to the press release.

He was found guilty of one count of First-degree Sexual Assault by a jury on July 13.

“During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on March 6, 2021, the defendant, along with a co-defendant, sexually assaulted a female victim at a motel in Warwick,” according to the press release.

“I am grateful that this victim was heard, and justice was served,” Neronha said. “When we hold accountable perpetrators of sexual assault, we send a clear message that these crimes will never be tolerated. Simultaneously, I hope these convictions provide avenues for victims to come forward and feel supported in doing so. Thank you to the Warwick Police Department for their exceptional work and partnership in this case and many others.”

According to prosecutors, that night, Vasquez invited a friend, the victim, to a house party in Providence.

“Following the party, the victim’s next memory was waking up in an unknown-to-her location while being sexually assaulted,” according to the AG’s press release. “Later that day, the victim reported the sexual assault to Women and Infant’s Hospital.”

An investigation by Warwick Police matched DNA results from the victim’s sexual assault exam with the defendant, according to prosecutors. Vasquez was arrested by Warwick Police.

“Sexual assault will never be tolerated in our community, and I’m grateful that justice was served in this case,” said Warwick Police Chief Col. Bradford E. Connor. “I commend the victim for her bravery in coming forward, and I thank Detective McGaffigan and our partners at the RI Attorney General’s Office for their investigation and prosecutorial work.”

Assistant Attorney General Alison DeCosta led the prosecution and Warwick Police Detective Patrick McGaffigan led the investigation.

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