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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

October 14, 2011

TWO PLEAD GUILTY IN PROVIDENCE HEROIN TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY

Providence Police seize heroin, cash, stolen firearm & ammunition

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Two Providence men are scheduled to be sentenced on January 6, 2012, in federal court after pleading guilty to participating in a conspiracy to possess and distribute heroin. The two were arrested by Providence Police in February 2011.

Amauris Luciano, 23, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin; possession with the intent to distribute heroin; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Jose Muriel, 25, pleaded guilty before Chief Judge Lisi to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of heroin.

The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.

According to information presented to the Court, Providence Police detectives developed information that Jose Muriel was trafficking heroin from his apartment. During a surveillance of the residence in February 2011, detectives watched as Amauris Luciano drove up in a Jeep, retrieved suspected narcotics from inside the gas cap of his Jeep, entered Muriel’s apartment and then leave a short time later.  Luciano’s vehicle was then pulled over and 6.5 grams of heroin in 16 individual bags was seized from under the gas cap of the Jeep.  Also seized from Luciano was $2,356 in cash.

Meanwhile detectives watched Muriel leave his apartment, put something under the driver side undercarriage of a van and drive the van to a nearby gas station.  Police detained Muriel and seized a magnetic “hide key” storage box from under the van that contained 24 bags of heroin.  The bags matched heroin bags seized from Luciano’s Jeep.

Providence Police detectives obtained and executed search warrants at the defendants’ residences. From the residences, vehicles and from the defendants’ persons police seized a total of 38.7 grams of heroin, $4,326 in cash and various items used in the distribution of heroin. Detectives also seized a .25 caliber handgun and ammunition from Luciano’s residence. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that the firearm was previously reported stolen from Warren, R.I.

            At sentencing Amauris Luciano faces a maximum sentence, if imposed consecutively, of 45 years to life imprisonment, including 5 years to life on the firearm charge to be served consecutive to sentences imposed on the drug charges; lifetime supervised release; and a fine of up to $2,250,000.  Jose Muriel faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment; 3 years supervised release; and a fine of $1,000,000.

            The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.

Contact: 401-709-5357
USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

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