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Press Release

Dominican National Admits to Leading Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

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

PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national living in Providence admitted to a federal court judge today that he led a conspiracy in Rhode Island in 2014 to import multiple kilograms of heroin and cocaine from California, and that he conspired with individuals working at his direction to store, process, and package the drugs at an apartment in West Warwick he rented and used as a stash house.

On at least three occasions, Rhode Island DEA agents intercepted packages containing one or more kilograms of heroin or cocaine shipped from California, earmarked for delivery to addresses in Warwick, Pawtucket and Providence. Rafael Lara Sanquintin, 37, of Providence, admitted that he directed others to retrieve the packages, and that members of the conspiracy he recruited worked at his direction at the stash house to prepare, package, and deliver the drugs to others.

On at least two occasions DEA agents stopped vehicles after leaving the stash house containing individuals working at the direction of Sanquintin. On those occasions, DEA agents seized 653 grams and 1,114 grams of heroin.

Sanquintin was indicted in this matter on November 22, 2016. He was arrested by Customs and Border Patrol agents on December 12, 2016, as he attempted to disembark from a cruise ship in West Palm Beach, FL, and illegally reenter the United States from his native Dominican Republic. He was convicted in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida on a charge of attempted illegal reentry after deportation by an aggravated felon and sentenced in March 2017 to 14 months of incarceration.

Appearing today before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, Sanquintin admitted that he conspired with others to possess and distribute at least 10 kilograms of heroin and 5 kilograms of cocaine, pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division Brian D. Boyle.

Sanquintin, detained in federal custody since completing his term of incarceration for illegally reentering the United States, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2020.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.



Jim Martin
(401) 490-1092

Updated August 12, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-97