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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dominican National Charged with Trafficking Fentanyl, Illegal Re-Entry

PROVIDENCE – A Providence man deported in March 2015 to his native Dominican Republic, having entered the United States illegally in March 2013, and who is currently facing a drug trafficking charge in Massachusetts, has been ordered detained in federal custody in Rhode Island, charged with illegal re-entry into the United States and with trafficking fentanyl.

Franklin Carlos Soto, 33, was arrested by members of the Rhode Island FBI Safe Street Task Force on July 2, 2020, following an investigation that included the alleged purchase from Soto of 50 grams of fentanyl for $2,500 on June 9 and June 18, and the alleged purchase from Soto of 25 grams of fentanyl for $1,250 on June 25. Each of the alleged transactions were monitored by members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.

On Thursday, members of the task force arrested Soto and executed a federal court-authorized search warrant at Soto’s residence and at a second Providence residence allegedly used by Soto as a stash house. Agents and officers seized a total of approximately 200 grams of fentanyl and a loaded 9mm ammo clip.

Soto appeared on Monday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan and was ordered detained, charged by way of a federal criminal complaint with two counts of distribution of more than 40 grams of fentanyl, one count of distribution of less than 40 grams of fentanyl, and one count of illegal re-entry into the United States, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

Additionally, an immigration detainer has been lodged against Soto by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey P. Veroni.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta thank the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Area Task Force for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Immigration
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
20-80
Updated July 7, 2020