Dominican National Admits to Trafficking Fentanyl, Health Care Fraud, ID Theft
PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national living in Pawtucket faces between seven and fifty-seven years in federal prison after admitting to a federal court judge that in addition to operating a drug stash house and arranging for the sale of fentanyl on at least four occasions, he used the identity of an individual unknown to him, including the person’s Social Security number and other personal identifying information, to gain Rhode Island Medicaid benefits and Rhode Island driver’s licenses and permits.
According to information presented to the court, since 2010, Jeurin Celado, a/k/a “Tony,” 30, used the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of a person he does not know to gain permits and driver’s licenses from the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Celado’s most recent successful filing with the DMV using the stolen identity occurred on August 5, 2019.
Additionally, beginning in August 2014 and continuing through July 2018, Celado used the same stolen identity, Social Security number, and date of birth to obtain Rhode Island Medicaid benefits, health insurance that as a non-United States citizen he was not eligible to receive. Celado obtained Medicaid benefits valued at approximately $4,342.18.
In 2019, Celado was the target of an undercover drug investigation by the Woonsocket Police Department. The investigation revealed that on four occasions – August 28, September 3, September 10, and September 17, 2019, an individual contacted Celado, whom that individual knew by the name of “Tony,” to arrange the purchase of fentanyl. On each of these occasions, Celado directed the person to a location where that person was met by a “runner” who sold him the drugs in exchange for cash.
On October 7, 2019, law enforcement executed a court-authorized search of an apartment in Manville used by Celado as a stash house, where he stored, cut, and packaged fentanyl he sold as part of his drug operation. Investigators located between 40 and 400 grams of fentanyl in the apartment, along with other items consistent with a drug distribution operation.
Appearing on Friday before U.S District Court Judge William E. Smith, Celado pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus, Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates, Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker, Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
At sentencing on July 9, 2021, Celado faces statutory penalties of 5-40 years imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl; up to 10 years imprisonment for health care fraud; up to five years imprisonment for false representation of a Social Security number; and a mandatory sentence of two years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft, to be served consecutive to all other sentences imposed in this case. In total, Celado faces between seven and fifty-seven years imprisonment to be followed by five years of federal supervised release.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.
Acting United States Attorney Myrus acknowledges and thanks the United States Marshals Service for its assistance in locating the defendant.