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Press Release

Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to Federal Prison

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

PROVIDENCE – A federal court judge today sentenced a Providence man found by the FBI’s Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force to be in possession of more than 100 grams of fentanyl to five years in federal prison.

John Switzer, 28, was among a group of individuals targeted in a long-term drug trafficking investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force. On May 1, 2019, while being surveilled by members of the task force, Switzer was seen leaving his residence and traveling as a passenger in a vehicle to a nearby supermarket parking lot. About five minutes after his arrival, a second vehicle arrived. Switzer met briefly with the driver. Both vehicles then left the area and were followed by task force officers and agents.

The vehicle driven by the person who met with Switzer was stopped. The driver admitted to purchasing 30mg Percocet pills from Switzer, which lab tests showed to contain a mixture including fentanyl.

The vehicle Switzer was riding in was followed as he returned to his residence. A short time later, he and the same person who was driving the car earlier left the building together and began to drive away. The vehicle was stopped by law enforcement. From inside the vehicle, law enforcement seized two packages containing a total of approximately 116 grams of fentanyl and a package containing 10 blue pills similar to the pills seized earlier in the evening. The pills later tested positive for a mixture containing fentanyl.

Later that evening members of the Safe Streets Task Force executed a court-authorized search warrant at Switzer’s residence and seized about 1,500 suspected fentanyl pills, 18 ounces of marijuana, and $1,800 in cash.

Switzer pled guilty on September 21, 2019, to possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.

At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., sentenced Switzer to 60 months incarceration to be followed by four years’ supervised release, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.

The FBI’s Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force consists of agents and law enforcement officers from the FBI, RI State Police, Providence, Cranston, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and Central Falls Police Departments, R.I. Department of Corrections, and the Rhode Island National Guard.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated February 7, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-26