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Press Release

Cranston Man Admits to Role in Drug Trafficking Organization That Shipped More Than 50 Kilos of Cocaine into Rhode Island

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A Cranston man today admitted to a federal judge that he played a long-running role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that U.S. Postal Service Inspectors determined shipped or attempted to ship a total of more than 50 kilograms of cocaine into Rhode Island, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Nelson Santos Carvalho, 47, admitted that he provided members of the DTO in Puerto Rico residential and business addresses in Rhode Island to use for shipping U.S. Priority mail parcels, each containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine; discussed arrival dates and retrieval of the parcels with co-conspirators; retrieved the packages from locations throughout Rhode Island, including his work address; transported the cocaine to co-conspirators in Rhode Island; and performed other functions as needed to facilitate the operations of the DTO.

Carvalho is the fourth defendant to admit his role in this DTO that operated in both Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.

According to charging documents, for more than 18 months, beginning in January 2018, Carvalho provided the DTO with various Rhode Island addresses at which he and other persons known to him lived and worked.  At least eleven of the parcels were shipped to Women and Infants Hospital where Carvalho was employed as a mail clerk, addressed to names provided to the DTO by the defendant. Carvalho retrieved the packages from the post office and provided them to other co-conspirators.

Based on the packages seized, the known size and weights of many of the parcels not intercepted, and positive K9 alerts on packaging materials discarded by DTO members, the DTO is believed to have shipped and/or attempted to ship approximately 51 kilos of cocaine into Rhode Island.

Appearing today before U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy, Carvalho pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 3, 2022. The defendants’ sentences will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Co-conspirators George Mojica, 42, Angel Delgado, 25, and Arcadio Torres, 30, of Central Falls, previously admitted to a federal judge that they participated in the conspiracy and performed various functions to assist the DTO. Mojica and Delgado were sentenced in May to serve seven years and five years in federal prison respectively; Torres is awaiting sentencing.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated August 1, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 22-111