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

March 5, 2014

Woonsocket Resident Detained for Allegedly Trafficking Fentanyl and Heroin

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Alfredo Balestier-Sanchez, aka Negro, 32, of Woonsocket, was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on federal charges of possessing and trafficking fentanyl and heroin. Sanchez was arrested Tuesday evening by members of the Woonsocket Police Department and the RI DEA Drug Task Force following a one month investigation during which time Sanchez allegedly sold fentanyl on at least three occasions to a person cooperating with law enforcement.

The investigation and arrest of Sanchez was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey and John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England field division.

According to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant and criminal complaint charging Sanchez with three counts of distributing fentanyl, one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and one count of distribution of heroin, between February 12 and February 20, 2014, at the direction and under the supervision of the Woonsocket Police Department’s Vice/Narcotics Unit and the DEA Drug Task Force, a person cooperating with law enforcement allegedly made three purchases of varying amounts of fentanyl from Sanchez.  One of the packets allegedly purchased from Sanchez also tested positive for the presence of heroin.

According to the affidavit filed with court, Woonsocket Police and members of the DEA Drug Task Force executed a court authorized federal search warrant at Sanchez’s Woonsocket residence on Tuesday evening where they seized four packets of fentanyl stashed inside a deodorant tube and items used in the packaging and distribution of fentanyl and 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.

If convicted, Sanchez faces a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison followed by between 3 years and lifetime supervised release, and a fine of up to $1,000,000 on each charge of distribution of fentanyl, distribution of heroin and possession with the intent to deliver fentanyl.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin.

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

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To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/

 

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

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