U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 25, 2013
Woonsocket Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Cocaine
Residents’ complaints lead to investigation of downtown Woonsocket neighborhood drug-house and arrests
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Eddie Carrasquillo, 29, of Woonsocket, was sentenced on Friday to 121 months in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and maintaining a drug related property, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division, and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Carrasquillo to serve seven years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Carrasquillo pleaded guilty on May 16, 2013, as charged in a federal indictment returned in February 2013, to one count each of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine and maintaining a drug related premises.
As a result of the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately one kilogram of cocaine, $409,120 in cash and a 2007 Honda vehicle.
According to information provided to the court, in January 2013, the Woonsocket Police Department’s Vice Unit received information and complaints about a suspected drug-house operating in a residential neighborhood near downtown Woonsocket. Area residents complained of a steady stream of vehicle traffic and visitors to and from the residence. In response, on January 9, 2013, Woonsocket Police and R.I. DEA Drug Task Force agents began a surveillance of the residence, and they recovered discarded items from the building’s trash that were consistent with items used in the preparation and distribution of drugs.
According to information provided to the court, on January 10, 2013, A Rhode Island State Police trooper stopped a vehicle shortly after it left the suspected drug-house. Inside the vehicle, the trooper discovered more than $78,000 in cash and a drug hide.
About 90 minutes later, Woonsocket Police attempted to stop a second vehicle which was seen arriving and leaving from the suspected drug-house. After stopping briefly, the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed but was stopped a short time later. Officers located and recovered a digital scale, a kilo of cocaine weighing 6.2 pounds, and a quantity of crack cocaine that had been tossed from the vehicle. The driver, Paul Noriega, 27, of Warwick was arrested.
Noriega, who has been detained since his arrest, pleaded guilty on March 8, 2013, in U.S. District Court, to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 13, 2013.
According to information presented to the court, a short time after Noriega’s vehicle was stopped, Carrasquillo was detained after leaving the drug-house, which was also his residence, in his 2007 Honda. A court authorized search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of $176,575 in cash found stashed in a laundry bag and two empty kilogram wrappers, which later tested positive for the presence of cocaine. A court authorized search of a bank safety deposit box in the name of Carrasquillo and a woman with whom he lived, resulted in the seizure of $154,520 in cash.
Carrasquillo has been detained since his arrest.The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
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