Skip to main content
Press Release

Nearly Six Kilos of Heroin Seized; Two Detained

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

PROVIDENCE – An investigation into the trafficking of heroin in Rhode Island has resulted in the seizure of nearly six (6) kilograms of heroin, allegedly brought to Rhode Island from New York, and the arrest of two individuals, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA; Central Falls Police Chief Colonel James J. Mendonca; and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist.


On Tuesday, Yesid Antonio Simanca-Pena, 40, of Central Falls, and Luis Mercado, 45, address unknown, were ordered detained in federal custody by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on federal criminal complaints charging each with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to distribute 1kilogram or more of heroin.


It is alleged that prior to February 13, 2017, a person assisting DEA was in negotiations with Mercado and Simanca-Pena to be provided with five (5) kilograms of heroin. These negotiations led to a late afternoon meeting on Monday, February 13, at Simanca-Pena’s Central Falls residence. Shortly after the person assisting DEA arrived by vehicle at the residence, it is alleged that Simanca-Pena placed one (1) kilogram of heroin on the floor of the vehicle. Simanca-Pena was immediately taken into custody and the heroin was seized by DEA agents. Soon after, DEA, DEA Task Force agents, Central Falls Police and Cranston Police executed a court authorized search of Simanca-Pena’s residence where they arrested Mercado and seized in excess of an additional four (4) kilograms of heroin.


A federal criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.





Jim Martin (401) 709-5357


on Twitter @USAO_RI

Updated February 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 17-18