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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 14, 2016

Johnston Resident Admits to Trafficking Oxycodone and Marijuana

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Juan G. Catala, 41, of Johnston, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to trafficking oxycodone and marijuana, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI).

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Catala pleaded guilty to four counts of distributing oxycodone and one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

According to court documents and information presented to the court, between January 2016 and March 2016, an individual assisting law enforcement in the investigation of Catala’s drug trafficking activities made at least four purchases of oxycodone tablets from Catala. Each of the transactions, ranging between 39 and 87 oxycodone tablets, were electronically monitored by law enforcement.

On July 6, 2016, FDA Task Force agents executed a court authorized search of Catala’s Johnston residence and seized 65 pounds of marijuana, in excess of $13,000 in cash, and several empty prescription bottles which previously contained oxycodone tablets. Agents seized an additional $1,500 in cash from Catala’s vehicle.

Catala is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on January 5, 2017.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.

The matter was investigated by the FDA Task Force, with the assistance of the Middletown and Johnston Police Departments. The FDA Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from the FDA, DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island National Guard, and the East Providence and North Providence Police Departments.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-105
Updated October 14, 2016