MARCH 25 (PROVIDENCE, R.I.) - Abel Perez, 31, of Cranston, was sentenced on Friday to 12 years in federal prison for trafficking heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm and for use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, announced John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division and United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Perez was arrested in September 2011 by agents and officers assigned to the DEA Drug Task Force following a five-month undercover investigation into Perez’s drug trafficking activities.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Perez to serve four years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Perez pleaded guilty on February 3, 2012, to one count each of possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to information presented to the court, beginning in April 2011, DEA Drugs Task Force agents made several controlled purchases of varying amounts of heroin from Perez. On September 7, 2011, agents detained Perez as he exited his Cranston residence carrying a paper bag which he placed on the front seat of his vehicle. Perez consented to a search of the vehicle and of his two residences in Cranston and Johnston.
From the vehicle, agents seized more than 500 grams of heroin and a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun from a secret compartment behind the vehicle’s radio. A search of Perez’s residences and a garage turned up additional quantities of heroin, approximately $7,000 in cash, a .357 revolver and an assortment of ammunition.
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith sentenced Perez to 84 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm; and, a consecutive sentence of 60 months in federal prison for possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein.The DEA Drug Task Force is comprised of agents and law enforcement officers from the DEA, ATF, IRS, Homeland Security Investigations, Rhode Island State Police and Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Newport, Warwick and Woonsocket Police Departments.