U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 23 , 2010
TWO PLEAD GUILTY TO POSSESSING NEARLY 500 GRAMS OF HEROIN
Providence, R.I. – Two men in a vehicle stopped for running a stop sign in Cranston, R.I., and who ended up being arrested when two large packages with nearly 500 grams of heroin were found in the car, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday to heroin possession charges. Dimitrit Vallejo Lara of Miami and Simon Suazo of Boston both pled guilty to two counts of possession of more than 100 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute.
The guilty pleas were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which were entered before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, told the court, had the matter proceeded to trial, the government would have presented evidence that on December 4, 2009, a Cranston patrolman, assigned to a traffic enforcement detail, observed a vehicle travel through a stop sign without stopping. When he turned his cruiser around to stop the driver to issue a traffic summons, the officer saw the vehicle abruptly turn into a driveway.
As the officer pulled into the driveway, he noticed that the front passenger, later identified as Dimitrit Vallejo Lara, appeared to be in a panic, moving around vigorously, leaning over towards the floor of the car. The officer instructed Lara to exit the car and patted him down, discovering a large dagger-style knife in a sheath in his coat pocket.
A backup officer who had arrived on scene removed the driver, Simon Suazo, from the car. Two softball sized round packages were discovered on the floor of the vehicle, one containing 247.5 grams of heroin, the other contained 248.5 grams of heroin.
Lara and Suazo each face maximum sentences of 5-40 years imprisonment; 4 years to life supervised release; and a $2,000,000 fine on each charge. The defendants, who have been detained since their arrest, are scheduled to be sentenced on December 2, 2010.
The matter was investigated by Cranston Police with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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