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2 charged, another convicted in separate straw-buying cases

Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office in Cranston. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Two people have been charged and another has been convicted after an investigation into illegal gun trafficking and violent crime surrounding Providence.

The attorney general’s office said Thursday that Danasia Machado, 24, of Central Falls, and Marcos Castellanos, 20, of Sioux City, Iowa, face multiple firearms charges.

Machado is accused of buying weapons from Castellanos, who was not allowed to do so due to a burglary charge he had from Iowa, otherwise known as “straw buying”. “.

The two allegedly led a scheme in which Machado would buy the weapons on Castellanos’ behalf and then sell them while he was detained at ACI. Machado could have bought two guns, while asking to buy three more.

She is charged with five counts of purchasing straw from a firearm, two counts of unlawfully selling a concealable weapon and one count of conspiracy to purchase a firearm.

Castellanos is charged with two counts of possession of a gun without a license, two counts of tampering with identification marks on a firearm, two counts of soliciting to deliver a firearm without proper documentation and conspiracy to buy a gun. He is currently serving a one-year sentence at the ACI after being found guilty of carrying a weapon without a license in February.

The Attorney General’s office said Brian Watson, 34, of Pawtucket, was sentenced to up to five years at AIT and given a 10-year suspended sentence with 15 years probation earlier this month.

Watson had been involved in a straw-buying scheme last year, where Zaira Lozada bought guns on his behalf. He was not allowed to buy guns for himself due to a previous conviction for common assault in 2017.

The couple allegedly sold five weapons illegally.

Lozada’s case is still pending in Providence Superior Court.