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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 29, 2022

‘Drug Runner’ Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

PROVIDENCE – A Woonsocket man who admitted to being a “drug runner,” delivering crack cocaine at the direction of a person who took steps to disguise his own involvement in the trafficking conspiracy by having others deliver his drug orders, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Michael Fernandes, 36 pleaded guilty on April 7, 2022, to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and three counts of distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base, admitting that he delivered a total of 104.72 grams of crack cocaine at the direction of, Anthony Medeiros, 31, of Woonsocket.

According to charging documents, during an FBI Safe Streets Task Force Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation into the sale of crack cocaine in and around Woonsocket in early 2020, agents developed information that Medeiros arranged at least four sales of crack cocaine, utilizing text messaging, phone calls, and Snapchat. On each occasion, in an effort to insulate himself from responsibility for his role in trafficking crack cocaine, Medeiros utilized a “runners” to deliver the drugs that he sold. In at least three instances he used Fernandes to make deliveries; in another instance he allegedly had his girlfriend make a delivery.

 Anthony Medeiros pleaded guilty on May 6, 2021, to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base; and two counts of distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base. He was sentenced on August 1, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy to 60 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release.

Fernandes was sentenced today by District Court Judge McElroy to 60 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release - the first six months of supervised release to be served at the Neil J. Houston House, a residential reentry center located in Pawtucket.

Medeiros’s girlfriend, Mariah Raymond, 28, of Woonsocket, is awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and distribution of cocaine base. A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey P. Veroni.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
22-116
Updated August 29, 2022