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Press Release

Providence Felon Detained on Drug Trafficking, Firearms Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
ATF Task Force seizes more than 230 grams of crack cocaine, loaded firearm and cash

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Thealeah Duopu, 39, of Providence, was ordered detained in federal custody today following an initial appearance in federal court in Providence on charges of trafficking crack cocaine, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for using the firearm in furtherance of his alleged drug trafficking activities.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF, announced the arrest and detention of Duopu, which comes following a nearly month-long investigation of Duopu’s alleged drug trafficking and gun crime related activities. The investigation allegedly included several purchases of crack cocaine by an undercover ATF agent from Duopu and a court authorized search of Duopu’s residence.

Duopu was ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan following an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging Duopu with possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine base with intent to distribute, distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base, distribution of cocaine base, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of firearms.

A 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.

According to court documents, beginning on October 19, 2015, and continuing until yesterday, an ATF undercover agent allegedly arranged on at least four occasions for the purchase of varying amounts of crack cocaine from Duopu. In each alleged instance, the amount of crack cocaine allegedly ordered from Duopu and delivered to the agent by Duopu increased substantially from the previous transaction. The alleged purchases and deliveries ranged from approximately 8 grams on October 20, 2015, to approximately 52 grams on November 3, 2015. Each alleged transaction occurred at an agreed upon location in a parking lot in Pawtucket.

According to court documents, on Tuesday of this week, an ATF undercover agent allegedly arranged with Duopu to again purchase crack cocaine. They allegedly agreed to meet in Pawtucket on Thursday to complete the transaction. On Thursday, as Duopu left his residence allegedly to meet with the agent, he was detained by members of the ATF Task Force. A court authorized search of Duopu’s alleged stash house and of his person resulted in the seizure of crack cocaine, a loaded firearm, cash, and items used in the packaging and distribution of crack cocaine.

As a result of the alleged undercover purchases of crack cocaine from Duopu, the court authorized search of his alleged stash house and of his person, law enforcement seized 233.3 grams of crack cocaine, a loaded semi-automatic handgun and $20,538 in cash.

According to court records, Duopu was previously convicted in Rhode Island state court on firearm and drug charges.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Milind M. Shah and Paul F. Daly, Jr.

Pawtucket Police and the Providence Arson Squad assisted the ATF Task Force in the investigation of this matter. The ATF Task Force consists of agents and officers from ATF; Providence, Cranston and Central Falls Police Departments; and the Special Investigations Unit at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

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Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

Updated November 13, 2015

Topic
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 15-105