News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2006

Eight are Charged with
Federal Drug Trafficking Offenses

NOV 21 -- In the culmination of a joint investigation led by Providence Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, a federal grand jury has charged eight Providence area men with drug trafficking offenses and one of them with a firearms violation.  The indictments are the result of an eight-month investigation known as Operation Crackdown. 

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England, United States Attorney Robert Clark Corrente and Providence Police Chief Dean jointly announced five indictments, which the grand jury returned on November 15 and one indictment that was returned last month, all in U.S. District Court, Providence.  The most recent indictments were placed under seal until federal agents and Providence Police officers could arrest the defendants.

Charged on November 15 are:

Juan Forbes, also known as “Weezy,” 20, of Knight Street, Providence –  charged with conspiracy to distribute and distributing at least 50 grams of crack cocaine, and with three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm;

Eric Grundy 20, of Vandewater Street, Providence – charged with conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of crack cocaine and distributing crack cocaine;

Daniel McClain, 28, of Stanwood Street, Providence – charged with conspiring with Grundy to distribute at least 50 grams of crack cocaine and distributing at least 50 grams of crack cocaine;

Donnell A. Jenkins, 28, of Northup Street, Cranston – charged with two counts of distributing crack cocaine, one of them involving at least five grams;

Ronald Hill, 35, of Broad Street, Providence – charged with two counts of distributing crack cocaine, one of them involving at least five grams;

Fernell Brown, 20, of Knight Street, Providence – charged with two counts of distributing at least five grams of crack cocaine;        

 Charged in an indictment returned on October 4 were:

Derrick Isom, 31, of Dunnell Avenue, Pawtucket, and Khalid Mason, 30, of Pavilion Avenue, Providence – charged with conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of crack cocaine, distributing at least 50 grams of crack cocaine, and using an apartment on Pavilion Avenue to traffic in crack cocaine, which is also known as running a crack house.

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        Seven of the defendants have pled not guilty at their arraignments in U.S. District Court and are detained.  Grundy is serving a state prison sentence and has not yet appeared in federal court.  An indictment is merely an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

        Upon conviction, the penalties for the offenses charged in the indictments are: conspiracy to distribute or distributing at least 50 grams of crack cocaine – 10 years to life in prison plus a $4,000,000 fine; distributing at least five grams of crack cocaine – five to 40 years imprisonment and a $2,000,000 fine; distributing crack cocaine – 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine; being a felon in possession of  firearms – ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine; running a crack house – 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

        Providence Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force led Operation Crackdown.  The U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also contributed to it.  Detectives from the Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, East Providence, Warwick, Middletown, and Bristol police departments are assigned to the DEA Task Force.