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Press Release

Cranston Man Sentenced for Role in Conspiracy to Ship Cocaine into Rhode Island

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

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Cranston man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy that shipped upwards of 100 kilograms of cocaine into Rhode Island from Puerto Rico, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Hector G. Rios pleaded guilty on May 9, 2023, to a charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 24 months of incarceration to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.

At the time of his guilty plea, Rios admitted to a federal judge that, on behalf of leaders of a drug trafficking organization, he accepted multiple packages containing kilos of cocaine shipped to his residence from Puerto Rico, which in turn he delivered to leaders of the organization.

According to court documents, between December 2019 and July 2020, Rios received packages shipped through the U.S. Postal Service containing a total of at least five kilos of cocaine.

The United States Postal Inspection Service determined that, at the direction of members of the drug trafficking operation, over sixty Priority Mail packages containing one or more kilograms of cocaine were shipped from different post offices in Puerto Rico to various addresses in Woonsocket, RI.

The matter was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Rhode Island High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine D. Lowell, Denise M. Barton and Stacey A. Erickson.



Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated February 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-18