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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 24, 2016

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking, Firearm Charges

ATF Task Force seized more than 200 grams of crack cocaine, $21,000 in cash and a loaded firearm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Thealeah Duopu, 40, of Providence, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to trafficking crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Duopu pleaded guilty to one count each of possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and distribution of 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, three counts of distribution of crack cocaine, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court records and information presented to the court, in October and November 2015, an ATF Task Force investigation of Duopu’s drug trafficking activities included at least four purchases of crack cocaine by an undercover ATF Task Force agent from Duopu, ranging in amounts from 8 grams to 52 grams for $375 to $3,200. The transactions occurred in a parking lot in Pawtucket.

On November 12, 2015, Duopu was arrested by ATF Task Force agents as he left his Providence residence to meet with an undercover Task Force agent for a previously arranged delivery of crack cocaine. Agents seized nearly 54 grams of crack cocaine and $538 in cash from Duopu. A court authorized search of Duopu’s residence immediately after his arrest resulted in the seizure of more than 67 grams of crack cocaine, nearly $20,300 dollars in cash and a loaded semi-automatic firearm.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized from Duopu a total of more than 200 grams of crack cocaine and nearly $21,000 in cash.

Duopu, who has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on November 12, 2015, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on September 14, 2016.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.

The Pawtucket Police Department and the Providence Arson Squad assisted the ATF Task Force in the investigation of this matter. The ATF Task Force consists of agents and officers from ATF; Providence, Cranston and Central Falls Police Departments; and the Special Investigations Unit at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

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Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-64
Updated June 24, 2016