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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Central Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking, Firearms Charges

PROVIDENCE, RI – A member of a Central Falls neighborhood-based street gang known for flashing drugs, firearms, and gang signs on social media, pled guilty in federal court today to trafficking crack cocaine and being in possession of two stolen firearms.

Elton Andrade, aka “MT Flex,” 20, a member of the “Money Team” street-gang, was arrested by members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force and Central Falls Police in February 2018, during a Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation into individuals in Central Falls involved in, among other things, drug trafficking and firearms violations.

On February 26, 2018, Central Falls Police and members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force executed a court-authorized search of a Central Falls residence where they seized from Andrade’s bedroom two bags containing a total of 28.53 grams of crack cocaine, two loaded firearms that a forensic audit later determined to be stolen, and $1,503 in cash.

Andrade, who was not present at the time of the search, was arrested the following day after being surveilled by law enforcement leaving a Seekonk, Mass., motel and taking a taxi to Central Falls. He was arrested by Central Falls police when they conducted a traffic stop of the taxi.

Andrade, who has been detained since his arrest, today pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Central Falls Police Chief Colonel Daniel J. Barzykowski, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

Andrade is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on May 18, 2020.

Possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base is punishable by statutory penalties of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years imprisonment, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Possession of a stolen firearm is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
20-30
Updated February 18, 2020