News Release
For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Newport Man Pleads Guilty in 900 Gram Cocaine Seizure

FEB 22 --(PROVIDENCE, RI) - Eric Smyth, of Newport, Rhode Island pleaded guilty today to cocaine trafficking.  In October, DEA Task Force agents and police detectives seized about two pounds of cocaine from Smyth and from residences in Newport and Middletown linked to him.

Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Robert Clark Corrente announced the guilty plea, which Smyth entered before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in U.S. District Court, Providence.

At the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert said the government could prove that Task Force agents developed information last fall that Smyth was selling cocaine by the ounce.  After confirming their suspicions through two arranged cocaine sales and surveillance of Smyth's travels around Aquidneck Island, agents approached him as he came out of a residence on Manning Terrace in Newport.  Smyth ran but was caught and arrested in a wooden shed nearby.  Newport Police officers seized a bag of cocaine that Smyth had thrown away while fleeing.

In the basement of the Manning Street residence, agents seized from beneath a floor joist four plastic bags containing various amounts of cocaine.  Agents also seized a digital scale.  At a residence on Fenner Avenue in Middletown, detectives seized more cocaine, $4,278 in cash, and another digital scale.  The total weight of the seized cocaine was 910 grams.

Smyth, 31, is detained, pending sentencing, which is scheduled for June 19.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force conducted the investigation, with assistance from Middletown and Newport Police.