2 Mass. men sentenced on ghost gun, drug, firearms charges

PROVIDENCE – Two Massachusetts men were sentenced to serve three years each after pleading guilty to possessing a ghost gun and drug and firearms charges stemming from their arrests in 2021, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced Friday. 

Jarrel Rocha, 20, of Attleboro, pleaded guilty in Providence Superior Court to possession of a ghost gun, possession of a firearm while delivering a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. 

On July 25, Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Rocha to 10 years, with three years to serve at the ACI followed by a seven-year suspended sentence with probation. 

Mark Socia, 21, of Attleboro, pleaded guilty in Providence Superior Court to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and two counts of possession of a firearm while delivering a controlled substance. 

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On July 25, Krause sentenced Socia to eight years, with three to serve at the ACI and a five-year suspended sentence with probation. 

“Guns without serial numbers – ghost guns – have become the weapon of choice for shooters and drug dealers because they are untraceable and don’t require a background check to purchase. They can be easily assembled from kits bought on the internet, at minimal cost,” Neronha said. “Since Rhode Island outlawed such weapons two years ago, this office has prosecuted nearly 50 cases involving ghost guns, most of them involving Polymer80 9 mm Glock style handguns without serial numbers made from kits produced by a single Nevada company.  Make no mistake, these illegal weapons threaten the safety of all Rhode Islanders.”

The R.I. State Police and Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested both Rocha and Socia at an apartment in Central Falls on March 2, 2021 while executing an arrest warrant seeking to apprehend Socia, who was wanted by law enforcement in Massachusetts for his alleged role in a shots-fired incident in Attleboro on Feb. 18, 2021. 

A ghost gun, a semi-automatic handgun, a revolver, a significant amount of cash, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized during the arrest. 

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