Traffic Stop Leads to Crack Cocaine Conviction;
JUN 29 -- A federal jury in Providence has found Kent Awer, 32, of Fall River, guilty of trafficking in a half kilogram of crack cocaine that was found in the trunk of a car during a traffic stop on I-195 last year.
June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England ad United States Attorney Robert Clark Corrente announced the verdict, which the jury returned yesterday after about two hours of deliberation and a two-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in U.S. District Court, Providence.
During the trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Beckner presented evidence that, at about 1:00 AM on May 2, 2006, Awer was a passenger in a car that East Providence Police stopped for speeding on I-195. After learning that the driver did not have a driver’s license, officers took her into custody, had Awer and another passenger removed from the car, and began an inventory search of the vehicle.
In a black bag in the trunk, officers found male clothing and a vacuum-sealed pack containing a half kilogram of crack cocaine, packaged in bundles for distribution. Also in the bag were items of paperwork in Awer’s name. Awer later told officers that he had obtained the crack cocaine in New York City.
The jury found Awer guilty of possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base. The penalty is ordinarily ten years to life imprisonment plus a $4,000,000 fine. However, the government has notified the court that Awer has three prior drug trafficking convictions in New York State, which subject him to a mandatory life sentence for this offense. Awer is detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled.
East Providence Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force investigated the case. Detectives from the Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, East Providence, Warwick, Middletown, and Bristol police departments are assigned to the Task Force.