U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
March 30, 2011
FEDERAL, STATE PROSECUTORS TEAM UP TO PROSECUTE
ONE OF RHODE ISLAND’S LARGEST EVER COCAINE DRUG BUST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that senior drug prosecutors from their offices will jointly prosecute in federal court three defendants who were arrested in January when local, state and federal law enforcement officers seized more than 65 kilos of cocaine and nearly $1.25 million in cash in North Kingstown. The arrests and seizures were part of an on-going multi-agency federal, state and local law enforcement investigation of a cocaine trafficking ring operating in Rhode Island and elsewhere.
Federal criminal complaints were issued Wednesday against Armando Saucedo, 30, and Andrew Rios, 39, of California, and Adilson Antonio Reyes, 29, of Utah, charging each with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The defendants, who were previously held without bail in state custody on charges of conspiracy, possession, and possession to distribute more than one kilogram of cocaine, are now being held on federal detainers. No date has been set for their initial appearance in federal court.
Assistant Attorney General Paul F. Daly, Jr., Chief of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Narcotics Unit, will be cross-designated as a federal prosecutor and will join Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hebert in the federal prosecution.
Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin commented, “A coordinated and complete prosecution, encompassing all evidence, is the mission of the Office of the Attorney General. This is a classic case where as the investigation unfolded it led us to determine to jointly pursue this with our federal partners. This office will jointly prosecute the three defendants with Assistant Attorney General Paul Daly cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. I commend our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in helping bring down one of the state’s largest drug bust on record. It is this type of communication and cooperation that leads to the arrest and conviction of violent and dangerous criminals and to improved safety and security of our communities.”
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “It is a priority of the Department of Justice and my Office to prosecute significant drug trafficking cases, in particular those cases that may transcend borders. The evidence developed through the DEA and State’s investigation in this case suggests just that. We are committed to continue to work closely with the Attorney General’s Office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to investigate, arrest and prosecute defendants involved in violent criminal activity and to prosecute the cases in the most appropriate forum.”
In September 2010, federal, state and local law enforcement agents, working in conjunction with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, developed information about the trafficking of cocaine from outside Rhode Island into the state, which led investigators to monitor activity at hotels in West Greenwich and Pawtucket, several vehicles and a storage facility in North Kingstown. In January, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office secured search warrants which law enforcement agents executed and seized 65.07 kilos of cocaine and $1,245,100 in cash from two vehicles and a storage facility in North Kingstown.
The matter was investigated by the DEA, Rhode Island State Police, and officers from the Warwick, Woonsocket, and East Providence Police Departments.
Department of the Attorney General
(401) 274-440 Ext. 2234
United States Attorney’s Office