U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 4, 2013
Brooklyn, N.Y., Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Trafficking Cocaine & Marijuana
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Charles Fermin, 29, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., to 41 months in federal prison, having been convicted by a federal court jury in Rhode Island in September 2012 of trafficking cocaine and marijuana, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Fermin to serve 3 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Fermin was arrested by members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force on January 6, 2012.
At trial, the government presented evidence to a jury that at the time of his arrest by members of the HIDTA Task Force, Fermin was in possession of a suitcase containing a loaded .357 Magnum revolver, 33 pounds of marijuana, more than an ounce of cocaine, and drug trafficking paraphernalia.
The jury heard evidence that during an ongoing investigation into suspected illegal drug activity, HIDTA Task Force agents watched as Fermin carted the suitcase around several Providence streets, pausing at one point to make a cell phone call. When approached, the defendant told arresting officers that he had found the suitcase after it had been tossed over a nearby fence by an unknown person, and that he was unaware of its contents.
The jury convicted Fermin of cocaine and marijuana trafficking, but acquitted him of a firearms charge.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
The Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force is comprised of members of law enforcement from the Rhode Island State Police, ATF, DEA, ICE-HSI, R.I. National Guard, and the Johnston, Pawtucket, Providence and Smithfield Police Departments.