U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 29, 2011
FIRST OF THREE DEFENDANTS IN HEROIN TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY
SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Central Falls woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence Wednesday to 60 months in federal prison for trafficking in heroin. Ligia Delassalas, 34, pleaded guilty in July 2010 to one count each of conspiracy to possess and possession of more than 100 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute. Delassalas is one of three defendants arrested in January 2010 by agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Drug Task Force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Pawtucket Police during the surveillance of a heroin trafficking operation.
The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
A second defendant, Smyrna Martinez, 26, of Central Falls, pleaded guilty in federal court in June 2010 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 25. Charges are pending in U.S. District Court against a third defendant, William Arms, 32, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.
According to court documents and information presented to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein, law enforcement agents were conducting a surveillance of Delassalas’ home and watched as she and Martinez left the home and drove to a nearby location where they picked up Arms. Prior to getting into the car, Arms placed a duffel bag in the rear of the vehicle.
The three drove to a Pawtucket hotel where they brought the duffel bag inside. A short time later, Delassalas and Martinez left the hotel, making several stops before going to a local mall. The women later returned to the hotel where Delassalas carried a shopping bag from the mall inside, leaving a short time later with Martinez carrying the same bag.
Law enforcement agents converged on the women’s vehicle and saw the bag which contained thin white tissue paper on top that was covering a clear plastic bag containing 80 pellets of suspected heroin. Agents went inside the hotel to a rented room where Arms was located. Arms agreed to allow agents to search the room where they found a heroin pellet similar to the ones located in the shopping bag in the vehicle. Arms told agents that he had swallowed about 100 heroin pellets. He was arrested and taken to a local hospital where the remaining pellets were expelled.