U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
December 16, 2010
PROVIDENCE MAN CAUGHT ON VIDEO SURVEILLANCE ATTENDING TRINITARIOS GANG ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTION OF ECSTACY
Providence, R.I. – A Providence man, who acknowledged in U.S. District Court that he was a “probationary member” of the Trinitarios Gang, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and the distribution of Ecstasy. Jose Cabrera, 25, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute MDMA, or Ecstasy, and distribution of MDMA. There is no Plea Agreement between Mr. Cabrera and the Government.
Cabrera’s guilty plea, which was accepted by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
At Thursday’s change of plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Zechariah Chafee told the court that on July 1, 2010, an FBI confidential informant arranged to purchase 100 Ecstasy pills from Cabrera at the Providence home of John J. Polanco, a co-defendant in this matter. The government alleged that the pills were delivered the next day by Cabrera at Polanco’s home. The transaction was electronically recorded.
According to court documents and previous court testimony by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force was able to attend and record an organizing meeting of the Trinitarios street gang on June 12, 2010. Seventeen people, including Cabrera and Polanco, were present and identified. Among other things, it was discussed that John Polanco was the leader or “Primera” of the local chapter.
As a result of information gained by the Safe Streets Task Force, the FBI was allegedly able to purchase firearms on two occasions from Polanco. It is alleged that Polanco also participated in separate Ecstasy conspiracies with Cabrera and a third person.
Cabrera, who faces a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment on each charge, has been detained since his arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15, 2011.
The Safe Street Task Force is comprised of law enforcement agents from the FBI, ATF, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police, Cranston Police and the Rhode Island National Guard. Agents from ICE and the U.S. Marshals Service assisted in this matter.