Project Safe Neighborhoods Investigation Nets More Than Five Kilos of Fentanyl Pills and Powder, Along With Commercial Pill Presses
PROVIDENCE – Two Rhode Island men were arrested for drug trafficking and more than seven kilos of fentanyl pills and powder, and two commercial pill presses have been seized as the result of an ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods Investigation into the trafficking of fentanyl pills, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Jorge Pimentel, 33, of Cranston, and Matthew Jones, 29, of North Smithfield, have been charged by way of federal criminal complaints with conspiracy to distribute and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl; distribution of 400 grams or more of fentanyl; and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
It is alleged in charging documents that, as a result of an ongoing FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force investigation, on multiple occasions Pimentel arranged for the sale and delivery of thousands of fentanyl pills, some of which were delivered by Jones. In each instance, the pills were quickly seized by members of the task force.
In addition to the seizure of tens of thousands of fentanyl pills during the investigation, on September 28,2023, members of the Safe Street Task Force executed a court-authorized search of a storage unit in Pawtucket and seized approximately 5.7 kilos of fentanyl; 50 kilos of binding agents used in the production of fentanyl pills; two commercial pill presses; and a kilo press. Altogether, over seventy-five thousand fentanyl pills and over two kilograms of powder fentanyl have been seized in connection with this investigation.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stacey A. Erickson and Milind M. Shah.
The matter is being investigated by the FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force consisting of agents and officers from the FBI, United States Marshals Service, Central Falls Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Providence Police Department, West Warwick Police Department, Woonsocket Police Department, and Rhode Island State Police.
Updated October 2, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-104
Project Safe Neighborhoods