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Press Release

Project Safe Neighborhoods Investigation Nets Twelve Arrests in Woonsocket

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
FBI Safe Streets Task Force investigation disrupts three drug trafficking conspiracies

PROVIDENCE, RI – A four-month FBI Safe Streets Task Force Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation into the trafficking of fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine on the streets of Woonsocket culminated today with the dismantling of at least three alleged drug trafficking conspiracies.

To date, twelve individuals have been charged, and law enforcement has seized four firearms, significant quantities of fentanyl pills, crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana, and approximately $12,000 in cash.

Teams of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents and officers fanned out early this morning and arrested six individuals on federal criminal complaints, three individuals on state charges, and executed four federal court-authorized search warrants. Additionally, federal charges were unsealed today brought against an individual currently detained at the ACI.

Prior to today, members of the Safe Street Task Force arrested two individuals charged by way of federal criminal complaints and executed one federal court-authorized search warrant.

Leading up to today’s arrests, law enforcement made nearly two dozen undercover drug purchases and seized 1,964 fentanyl pills (332.9 grams),116.2 grams of powder fentanyl, 296 grams of marijuana, 244 grams of crack cocaine, 20 grams of powder cocaine, 3 firearms, and $1,800 U.S. currency.

Today, law enforcement seized a loaded 9 millimeter handgun, and approximately 144 grams of crack cocaine and 1,094 grams of cocaine, and $10,200 in cash.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman said, “These twelve arrests in Woonsocket should be looked upon as a warning to others: Be it in Woonsocket or in any community in Rhode Island where drug traffickers are peddling their poison and impacting the safety and quality of life in our neighborhoods, federal, state, and local law enforcement will team up and bring to bear the full-force of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.”

“Today’s arrests exemplify the epitome of law enforcement agencies working together to target and dismantle drug trafficking organizations that threaten the safety and stability of our neighborhoods,” commented Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta. “The residents of Woonsocket have been dealing with drugs and violence for far too long and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force will continue to use all of the tools we have at our disposal to make sure the people who are peddling these poisons on our streets—many of whom are repeat, violent offenders—are held accountable.”

Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates added, “Working with our federal partners allows the Woonsocket Police Department to bring added resources to Woonsocket to combat illegal drug trafficking which is so harmful to our community. We will continue to use any and all resources available to us to continue to try and improve the quality of life and safety of the residents of the City of Woonsocket.”

Charged by way of federal criminal complaint in U.S. District Court:

David Bradford, 34

Conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl

Possession with intent to deliver 28 grams or more of cocaine base

David Kennedy, 29

Conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base

 

 

 

Jason Simpson, 34

Conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base

 

Christopher Nieves, 34 (detained at the ACI)

Conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base

 

 

 

James Ruth, 31

Conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base

 

Gilbert Delestre, 29

Possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine

Conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base

 

 

Sean Breton, 27

Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base

 

John Switzer, 37, arrested May 1, 2019

Conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl

Possession with intent to deliver and distribution of 400 grams or more of fentanyl

 

Charged in Rhode Island State Court:

 

Victoria Kinnecom, 24

13 counts of conspiracy to manufacture with intent to deliver a Schedule 1 substance

 

Trevis Woods, 30

4 counts of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule 1substance

9 counts of conspiracy

 

 

 

Christopher Grondin, 29

7 counts of conspiracy

5 counts of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule 1 substance

 

Damien Drolet, 32, arrested April 3, 2019 (detained at the ACI)

Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance

 

 

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

Cases charged in U.S. District Court are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta, and Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates thank the Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick and Providence Police Departments, Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island National Guard, and Adult Correctional Institutions for their assistance.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated July 2, 2019

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 19-82