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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Convicted Felon Awaiting Trial Charged with Trafficking Fentanyl, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

PROVIDENCE – A North Providence man currently on bail while awaiting trial in Rhode Island state court on drug trafficking charges, and who is also currently on probation in four separate state court cases, has been ordered detained in federal custody as the result of an unrelated FBI Safe Street Task Force and Providence Police Narcotics Unit Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation into his alleged dealing of fentanyl powder and fentanyl pills, as well as for allegedly being in the unlawful possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

It is alleged in court documents that on at least seven occasions between June 9 and October 6, 2022, Keurys Pena, 33, sold an individual fentanyl pills and fentanyl powder in quantities that ranged from 1.66 grams to 238.5 grams; and on September 8, 2022, he allegedly sold the same individual a 9mm handgun. It is alleged that, in total, Pena sold the individual 909.4 grams of narcotics for $14,770.

On Tuesday, FBI agents and Providence Police detectives executed court-authorized searches of Pena’s residence and a drug stash house that he allegedly operated in Pawtucket. From the stash house, law enforcement seized over 500 grams of fentanyl in pill and powder form; cutting agents; scales, sifters, and other packaging materials; and parts to a pill press used to make counterfeit narcotics containing fentanyl.  Ammunition, an unsecured firearm, and a pill press were allegedly seized from Pena’s residence.

Pena is charged by way of a federal criminal complaint with distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Stacey P. Veroni.

According to court records, Pena has been convicted multiple times in state courts on drug trafficking charges. Additionally, he has been convicted on firearm, assault, domestic assault, forgery, breaking and entering, and assault/escape of an inmate charges.

United States Attorney Cunha, the FBI, and the Providence Police Department thank the North Providence Police Department and the Pawtucket Police Department for their assistance on Tuesday during the execution of the search warrants.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
22-137
Updated October 20, 2022