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Press Release

Pawtucket Man Sentenced To 8 Years In Federal Prison For Manufacturing And Distributing Meth From Newport Motel Room

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sean Costigan, 51, of Pawtucket, was sentenced on Wednesday to 96 months in federal prison for manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine. Costigan was arrested in January 2014, when DEA Drug Task Force agents and detectives from the Warwick and Newport Police Departments executed a court authorized search of a Newport motel room rented by Costigan and seized materials being used to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Costigan to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Costigan pleaded guilty in July 2014 to one count of manufacturing methamphetamine and four counts of distribution of methamphetamine.

Costigan’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Michael Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New England field division; Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney; and Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva.

“Among the panoply of dangerous, indeed, life-threatening illegal drugs, meth may top the list.  Meth labs are notorious for exploding without warning, and it has devastating health effects on those who use it,” said United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.  “The defendant here manufactured and sold meth with impunity, without any concern whatsoever for the buyers of his product or those residing literally footsteps away. His lengthy sentence is more than well-deserved.  I want to thank all of our law enforcement partners, who worked so diligently to eliminate the threat posed by this defendant.”

“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug.  Clandestine labs used to produce this poison are extremely dangerous, unstable, very flammable, and can contaminate the locations in which they are found,” said NEFD DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Ferguson. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners in combatting this threat and have highly specialized trained DEA agents assigned to the DEA Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team (CLET), not only working these types of investigations, but providing training to our state and local first responders.”
At the time of his guilty plea, Costigan admitted to the court that on four occasions between October 25 and December 6, 2013, he sold methamphetamine to a Warwick undercover police officer. Three of the transactions occurred in the parking lot of a hotel in Warwick. The fourth transaction occurred in a hotel room in North Smithfield.

According to information presented to the court, on January 16, 2014, DEA and DEA Drug Task Force agents, and Warwick and Newport Police detectives executed a court authorized search of a Newport motel room rented by Costigan. Inside the room, law enforcement discovered materials being used to manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Members of the DEA CLET dismantled the operation and seized multiple items associated with a methamphetamine manufacturing operation.

Warwick Deputy Police Chief Michael Babula noted, “The initial investigator on this case was Detective David Verity of the Warwick Police Department, our assigned member to the Drug Task Force sponsored by the DEA. The information was initially obtained by the Warwick Police Special Operations Group. This investigation was continued and brought to completion with the assistance of the task force as a whole.  We strongly believe that these multi-agency task forces are the only practical way to deal with multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking. We are particularly pleased that this effort was able to take down a lab manufacturing meth, a drug which has destroyed so many lives, and in many cases, whole communities.”

Costigan has been detained since his arrest on January 16, 2014.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin.

The DEA Drug Task Force is comprised of law enforcement agents and officers from the DEA, Rhode Island State Police, and the Cranston, East Providence, Newport, Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick, West Warwick and Woonsocket Police Departments.


To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at

Contact: 401-709-5357

Updated June 22, 2015