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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 15, 2019

Providence Man Admits to Trafficking Kilos of Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

PROVIDENCE – A Providence man is awaiting sentencing in federal court after admitting to the court he trafficked more than eight kilograms of fentanyl, more than two kilograms of cocaine and nearly two kilograms of heroin.

Ronny B. Nova, a/k/a Benancio, 33, of Providence, arrested by members of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force on August 23, 2017, appeared on Thursday before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., and pleaded guilty as charged by way of federal indictment with possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy with intent to distribute fentanyl, and attempt to distribute fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division Brian D. Boyle.

According to court documents and information presented to the court, on November 17, 2015, an investigation into Nova’s drug trafficking activities included the purchase of 2.5 grams of heroin from Nova while under the surveillance of law enforcement. Three days later, members of the DEA Drug Task Force executed a federal court-authorized search of a residence tied to Nova, and seized 2,269.3 grams of cocaine, 1,954.1 grams of heroin, and 348.4 grams of fentanyl.

According to court documents and information presented to the court, in late August 2017, Missouri State Police executed a traffic stop of a rental truck, inside of which they discovered a box containing six kilograms of fentanyl. The driver was arrested. The fentanyl and the truck were seized. When interviewed by Missouri State Police, the driver told troopers that he left Baldwin Park, California, on August 20, 2017, with the fentanyl, with instructions to bring the truck to a pre-determined location in Warwick, Rhode Island.

On August 23, 2017, an undercover law enforcement officer, posing as the truck driver arrested in Missouri, drove a similar rental truck to the same location the truck carrying the fentanyl was to have been driven to. Law enforcement established surveillance in the area of the truck and watched as a vehicle entered the area and the driver, Ronny Nova, surveilled the truck then drove away. Shortly after, the undercover officer posing as the person instructed to drive the truck containing the fentanyl to Warwick, was directed to a different parking lot nearby. When the truck arrived at the second location, the same vehicle arrived and the driver, Ronny Nova, exited the vehicle and began to approach the truck. As he did so, law enforcement arrested Nova. Nova was found to be carrying $12,892 in cash, close to the amount he was to have paid the driver for the delivery of the fentanyl.

Nova is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court John J. McConnell, Jr., on January 30, 2020.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul F. Daly and William J. Ferland.

The Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force is comprised of law enforcement personnel from DEA, Rhode Island State Police, and the East Providence, Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, Newport, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick, West Warwick and Woonsocket Police Departments.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
19-147
Updated November 15, 2019