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

May 14, 2012

Eleven Arrested and Detained in Alleged Heroin Trafficking Operation with Ties to Mexican Drug Cartels
Drugs, cash, jewelry, loaded firearms, vehicles seized in,
U.S. Attorney, FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force, DEA Drug Task Force, investigation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Eleven individuals were arrested on Thursday and Friday and ordered detained following initial appearances in U.S District Court in Providence, R.I., on drug and firearms charges resulting from an eight month federal law enforcement investigation into the trafficking of heroin into Rhode Island by an alleged Dominican organization with ties to Mexican drug cartels. The investigation is continuing.

The investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Safe Streets Gang Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force, along with the Rhode Island State Police and local law enforcement detectives assigned to the task forces, resulted in the execution of federal search warrants and arrest warrants in Providence, Cranston, North Providence, Pawtucket, and West Warwick, R.I. In addition to the arrests, federal agents and state and local detectives seized more than three kilos of heroin, approximately 200 grams of cocaine, approximately $450,000 in cash, a substantial quantity of high-end jewelry, five firearms - four of them loaded, and twelve vehicles - several of which contained “hides.”

Four of the individuals were arrested on Thursday at a West Warwick residence where agents seized approximately $300,000 in cash, more than two kilos of heroin, nearly ¼ kilo of cocaine, four vehicles and a substantial quantity of high-end jewelry.

The investigation, arrests and seizures were announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston field office; and Kevin L. Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New England field division of the DEA.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “These arrests demonstrate that international drug trafficking organizations have a very long reach.  Where there is money to be made, they will operate; Rhode Island is no different in that regard than anywhere else. Yet wherever and whenever they operate, we will hit back, hard.   We cannot, and we will not, allow those who would cast a pall over our urban neighborhoods to operate with impunity.”

Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston field division added, “Together, with the arrests and seizures attained last week, we have ensured the streets of Rhode Island and elsewhere in New England are less susceptible to the scourge of illegal narcotics – and our community is safer from the violence and crime associated with drug trafficking activity.” DesLauriers added, “From an FBI perspective, this investigation highlights the importance of our collaborative efforts to prevent, detect and deter crime through the application of our task force model.”

Kevin L. Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration added, "Our message today is straight forward. If you traffic heroin in Rhode Island, be prepared to get arrested and inevitably go to prison. We will not allow the streets of our communities to become drug havens. These arrests don't end our investigations. They open up new avenues of inquiry which we will exploit to pursue and cripple these trafficking organizations. This investigation exemplifies the success of cooperative law enforcement."

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adi Goldstein and Milind M. Shah.

The FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force consists of agents and law enforcement officers from the FBI; Providence, Cranston and Woonsocket Police Departments, and the Rhode Island National Guard.

The DEA Drug Task Force consists of agents and law enforcement officers from the DEA, Rhode Island State Police, and the Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, Newport, and Woonsocket Police Departments.

Agents from the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Service and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation also played significant roles in this investigation.

Defendants Charged, Arrested and Detained

Dewrys Marte Valerio
Providence, RI
DOB:  6/26/1985

Two (2) counts of distribution of cocaine.
Two (2) counts of distribution of heroin.

Renaldo Perez Esparra
Providence, RI
DOB:  11/3/1983

(aka)Yelkis Martinez
Providence, RI
DOB:  7/20/1977

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

 

 

Jose Dume, Jr.
Cranston, RI
DOB:  9/27/1984

Ten (10) counts of distribution of heroin.

One (1) count of distribution of cocaine.

One (1) count of aiding and abetting

Two (2) counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Leopoldo Nunez
Cranston, RI
DOB:  12/15/1987

One (1) count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

 

 

Angel M. Marte
Hazelton, PA
DOB:  7/28/1964

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Wayne Barnes
Pawtucket, RI
DOB:  6/14/1959

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.

One (1) count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

One (1) count of felon in possession of a firearm.

 

 

Miguel Angel Colon
Cranston, RI
DOB:  7/21/1990

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin.

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Vlady Tejada
Providence, RI
DOB:  6/12/1980

(aka) Hilberto Rivera
Providence, RI
DOB:  12/23/1983

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin.

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

 

 

Manuel Valdez
No known address
DOB:  6/26/1990

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin.

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Geovannie Nieves
New Bedford, MA
DOB:  7/28/1982

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin.

One (1) count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

 

 

Esteven Benzan
Providence, RI
DOB:  7/3/1986

Eight (8) counts of distribution of heroin.

 

 

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

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