U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 28, 2010
COCAINE SHIPMENT FROM GUATEMALA
ENDS WITH PROVIDENCE MAN IN FEDERAL PRISON
Drugs and cash also retrieved from defendant’s Providence home
located less than 500 feet from an elementary school
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man who accepted shipment of nearly 900 grams of cocaine in April 2010 mailed from Guatemala was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 36 months in federal prison. Byron Eduardo Santos, 21, a Guatemalan national, pleaded guilty in August to federal charges of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a school.
The sentence, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
At the time of the defendant’s guilty plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah told the court that on April 20, 2010, Customs and Border Protection agents in Miami examined a package sent from Guatemala bound for Providence and discovered that it contained 875.8 grams of cocaine. Law enforcement agents continued to monitor the package as it was shipped to Providence and the United States Postal Service attempted to deliver it to the address listed on the package. No one with the name listed on the package was located at the residence and the package was held by the Postal Service.
Six days later, Santos arrived at the post office seeking the package. After he took possession of it, he was arrested. Shortly after his arrest, Santos gave law enforcement agents permission to search his apartment, which was located less than 500 feet from the William D’Abate Elementary School. During the search, police discovered another package containing 989.6 grams of cocaine and found $11,460 in cash. Police also seized $1,024 from Santos. All of the cash was forfeited administratively.
The matter was investigated by Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA); Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Postal Service Inspectors; and Providence Police.