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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2002

Contact:
Special Agent Diane Brackett
Public Information Officer
617-557-2308
or
Major Thomas Carmody
401-468-4200

DEA's HIDTA TRANSPORTATION TASK FORCE SEIZES $1.3 MILLION

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New England Field Division; Stephen McCartney, Colonel of Warwick Police Department and Sheldon Whitehouse, Attorney General for the State of Rhode Island along with Edward Carter, Chief of Rhode Island Airport Police Department; J. David Smith, Chief of the Westerly Police Department announced today the seizure of approximately 1.3 million dollars in U.S. currency and five pounds of marijuana and the arrest of two individuals.

On August 14, 2002, law enforcement personnel assigned to the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Transportation Task Force working in conjunction with the Narcotics Unit of the Warwick Police Department arrested John MENDONCA, 32 years of age; and his wife, Jacqueline MENDONCA, 30 years of age, both of 45 Dover Street, Fall River, MA, at the Motel 6 in Warwick, Rhode Island. At the time of the arrests, agents seized approximately five pounds of marijuana, small quantities of percocet and vicodan and 1.3 million dollars.

On August 15, 2002, John MENDONCA and Jacqueline MENDONCA were arraigned before Bail Commissioner Joseph Gallucci. John MENDONCA was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of controlled substances having been previously convicted of possession of controlled substances, conspiracy to violate the Uniform Substances Act, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of vicodan and possession of percocet. Jacqueline MENDONCA was charged with conspiracy to violate the Uniform Substances Act, unlawful possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct. John MENDONCA was ordered held with out bail. Jacqueline MENDONCA was released on a cash bail.

Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse's office is in charge of the prosecution of this case.

Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville said of this investigation, "the seizure of 1.3 million dollars is clearly indicative of the significant role the MENDONCAs played in this, as of yet, unidentified marijuana distribution organization. We will continue our investigation beyond these arrests and seizures to identify any other members of this group operating here in New England and elsewhere in the world."

Colonel Stephen McCartney said, "this is an example of the hard work performed by all the agencies involved in this investigation. This interruption into the flow of illicit narcotics is a result of the outstanding work of all the individual officers that participated in this investigation."

Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse said, "this seizure represents, once again, the outstanding work being done by our HIDTA Task Force and reinforces that law enforcement works best when it works together. The transportation task force has made a major contribution in our ongoing drug enforcement efforts, and all of Rhode Island benefits by having this type of enforcement resource available."

The HIDTA Transportation Task Force is comprised of Special Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Detectives from the Warwick Police Department, Westerly Police Department and Rhode Island Airport Police.

INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED

1. John MENDONCA, 32, 45 Dover Street, Fall River, MA.
2. Jacqueline MENDONCA, 30, 45 Dover Street, Fall River, MA.

The charges reported are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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