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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fentanyl and Cocaine Dealer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

PROVIDENCE – An admitted fentanyl and cocaine trafficker arrested one day after he fled members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force during an April 2019 investigation into his drug trafficking activities was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.

In early April 2019, members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force developed information that Luis Leon, 25, of Pawtucket, was expecting a large shipment of fentanyl. On April 9, task force members established surveillance of Leon’s residence and watched as an individual entered Leon’s residence carrying a large duffel bag. A short time later, Leon left the residence carrying the duffel bag that he placed in the back of a dark colored pickup truck and drove off.

As members of the task force moved into position to follow Leon he repeatedly looked in his rear view mirrors at their vehicle. As agents attempted to stop Leon by illuminating their flashing lights and engaging their siren he drove off at a high rate of speed. Because of the reckless manner in which Leon was operating the truck investigators did not pursue the vehicle, but did continue to drive the route Leon’s truck appeared to take. A short distance away agents came upon an accident. Witnesses told police that a pickup truck struck a vehicle causing the vehicle to careen into a building. The truck fled without stopping.

Several minutes later, law enforcement learned that a pickup truck with heavy front end damage pulled into a nearby parking lot and was abandoned. A witness advised law enforcement he saw the driver get out of the vehicle, toss a duffel bag into bushes nearby, and run off. The description of the driver fit the description of Leon. Agents retrieved the bag. It was found to contain approximately 634.4 grams of fentanyl and approximately 429.5 grams of cocaine.

Later that night task force agents developed information that Leon was likely staying at a residence in Fall River. They established surveillance and arrested Leon the following afternoon as he exited the building.

On May 14, 2019, Leon pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to possession with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Mary S. McElroy to 120 months in federal prison to be followed by five years supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.

 The Rhode Island FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force consists of agents and law enforcement officers from the FBI, Central Falls Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Providence Police Department, West Warwick Police Department, Woonsocket Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, and the Rhode Island National Guard.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
20-96
Updated August 11, 2020