U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
August 4, 2010
CRACK DEALER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
A Providence man was sentenced Wednesday to 120 months in federal prison and 5 years supervised release for possession of more than 300 grams of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute. Jose Hurtado, 31, pleaded guilty in March 2009 to an indictment charging him with possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the sentence, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith.
At the time of Hurtado’s guilty plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert told the court, had the matter gone to trial, the government was prepared to present evidence that Providence Police executed a search warrant at Hurtado’s residence on October 29, 2008, where they discovered a bag in a floor vent which contained six bags of crack cocaine with a total weight of 311.3 grams. A search of the residence also turned up more than $5,500 in cash; a drug ledger; bank statements and other paperwork belonging to the defendant; and assorted items used to prepare and package crack cocaine. When police entered Hurtado’s residence they discovered his mother hiding under the stairs.
Prior to executing the search warrant, undercover officers observed Hurtado and another person arrive at the defendant’s residence, both exiting a few minutes later. As Hurtado drove away he was stopped and arrested by detectives. Police seized three cellular telephones and $619 in cash. The defendant admitted to police that he owned the crack cocaine seized from the vent to “make money.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert. The matter was investigated by The Drug Enforcement Administration and Providence Police.