Former Woonsocket Couple Admit to Directing Conspiracy That Shipped Dozens of Kilos of Cocaine Into Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE – A Providence man is scheduled to be sentenced in August after admitting to a federal court judge that, in November 2021, he took possession of a package that contained more than a half kilogram of cocaine that was mailed from Puerto Rico and was addressed for delivery to a Providence residence, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Jose Fuentes, 32, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2023, to a charge of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
According to information presented to the court, in November of 2021, as part of a narcotics trafficking investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force identified a suspicious package that had been sent through the mail from Puerto Rico to Providence. During the investigation, a Rhode Island State Police canine trained to alert law enforcement to the presence of narcotics was brought in to check the package and alerted its handler with a positive indication that the package contained narcotics. A court-authorized search of the package and subsequent testing revealed that the package contained 560 grams (.56 of a kilogram) of cocaine, packed inside a Lego box.
Court records show that someone, using a cell phone associated with Fuentes, made at least two calls to the post office seeking information about the location of the most recently shipped package. The caller was told that he would have to claim the package in-person. When Fuentes arrived at the post office and took possession of the package on November 4, 2021, he was arrested and the cocaine was seized by law enforcement.
Fuentes is scheduled to be sentenced on August 29, 2023. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey A. Erickson.