U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 2, 2012
Providence Police, DEA Drug Task Force Investigation Results in Seizure of Record 19 Kilos of Heroin
Largest heroin seizure in Rhode Island valued at upwards of $4.5 million dollars
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Prompted by information developed by Providence Police detectives during an on-going investigation into street-level drug dealing, a joint investigation by Providence Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force, consisting of federal, state and local law enforcement agents and officers, has resulted in the seizure of 19 kilos of heroin with a street value of approximately $4.5 million dollars. The on-going investigation and record seizure of pure heroin from the streets of Rhode Island has resulted in the arrest and detention of two individuals on federal charges.
The investigation and arrests were announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré; Providence Mayor Angel Taveras; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.; John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New England Field Division; and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.
According to an Affidavit in support of criminal complaints filed with the federal court and unsealed on Thursday, an individual who had recently been arrested by Providence Police for the alleged possession of narcotics agreed to cooperate with law enforcement to arrange controlled deliveries of heroin. According to the Affidavit, two deliveries of a kilo of heroin arranged by the informant allegedly took place on the evening of October 23, 2012, and again the following afternoon, witnessed by a team of law enforcement agents and officers from the DEA Task Force and Providence Police. On each occasion, the drugs were quickly seized by law enforcement.
According to the Affidavit, later in the day on October 24, 2012, the informant received a call and was provided with a location to meet with a person who would be traveling from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to pick-up the two kilos of heroin. Law enforcement provided the informant with two fake kilos of heroin and watched as the delivery was allegedly made.
During the investigation, two men, Jorge Daniel Estrada, 21, of Providence, and Angel Feliz, 47, of Dorchester, Mass., were arrested and detained on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and attempt to possess one kilogram or more of heroin with the intent to distribute. A search of Estrada’s Providence residence resulted in the seizure of an additional 17 kilos of heroin.
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 case is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.