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Justice News

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

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Crack Cocaine "Broker" Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

PROVIDENCE – A former Woonsocket man, one of more than a dozen people arrested in July 2019 as the result of a four-month FBI Safe Streets Task Force Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation into the trafficking of fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine on the streets of Woonsocket, was sentenced today to five years in federal prison for brokering sales of crack cocaine.

In October 2019, Christian Nieves, 34, admitted to the Court that in April 2019, he arranged on multiple occasions for an individual to purchase a total of 34.18 grams of crack cocaine from David Kennedy, 29, formerly of Woonsocket. Nieves was present for each transaction and was paid a fee for his efforts.

Nieves pleaded guilty on October 1, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base.

At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., sentenced Nieves to 60 months imprisonment to be followed by 4 years supervised release, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta, and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates.

David Kennedy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on October 1, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2020.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert and Christine D. Lowell.

Project Safe Neighborhoods 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.


Project Safe Neighborhoods
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
Updated January 21, 2020