U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
March 19, 2010
DRUG TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Pedro Michael Goncalves, a/k/a Michael Goncalves, 28, formerly of Pawtucket, R.I., was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison, having been convicted on drug trafficking and firearms charges, it was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. The sentence was imposed by United States District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
Goncalves, who was charged by way of Indictment on May 10, 2006, was found guilty on March 1, 2007, following a four day jury trial. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert and Stephen G. Dambruch.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “Serious, armed drug dealers like Mr. Goncalves take a terrible toll on the neighborhoods we live in, in a variety of very significant ways. A lengthy sentence like this one sends the right message that such drug dealing, particularly by potentially violent criminals, will not be tolerated.”
On May 3, 2006, agents and officers with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Taskforce executed search warrants in Providence and Pawtucket, R.I., at residences used by the defendant.
Prior to executing the warrants, the defendant became aware of the surveillance and fled from law enforcement. Law enforcement chased the defendant through the city of Providence and into Pawtucket where he was eventually arrested. During the chase, three law enforcement officers were involved in accidents, and one Rhode Island State Trooper was injured.
At the Providence location, in a third floor apartment the defendant used as a stash house, agents found various items associated with drug trafficking and 92.43 grams of crack cocaine. A first floor apartment housed a licensed child daycare facility. Additionally, during the execution of the search warrant at the Pawtucket location, agents found 10.43 grams of crack cocaine.
While searching the defendant’s vehicle, agents found a .45 caliber handgun. The gun was loaded with seven hollow-point bullets and the hammer was cocked back with a round in the chamber. In the gas cap of the vehicle, agents found 65.43 grams of cocaine powder.
The matter was investigated by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Taskforce, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Providence Police; Pawtucket Police; and Rhode Island State Police.