Providence Man Detained for Allegedly Trafficking Cocaine Shipped from Puerto Rico
PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man under investigation for more than a year for allegedly trafficking cocaine shipped from Puerto Rico has been ordered detained in federal custody after he allegedly accepted a package shipped from Puerto Rico containing approximately a kilogram of cocaine.
According to court documents, for more than a year, the United States Postal Inspection Service has been conducting an investigation of Eliot Figueroa-Rosario, 44, and his involvement in a series of packages shipped to and from Puerto Rico.
In May 2017 and May 2018, Figueroa-Rosario is allegedly captured on video surveillance shipping parcels to Puerto Rico from the U.S. Postal Service Providence Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). A court-authorized search of the packages found them to contain $16,000 and $26,000 respectively. The cash was seized by law enforcement.
On June 15, 2018, a Priority Mail package mailed three days earlier from Puerto Rico and addressed to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence was observed in the mail stream at the P&DC. An examination of the package by a Rhode Island State Police K-9 trained to detect narcotics reacted in a positive manner, indicating the presence of a narcotic odor. A federal search warrant was obtained, and an inspection of the contents of the package by a U.S. Postal Inspection Service agent allegedly revealed 1160 grams of cocaine.
On June 18, 2018, an undercover Postal Inspection agent attempted to deliver the package. However, no one was home at Figueroa-Rosario’s residence. A redelivery request slip was left at the address. Later in the day, and again the next day, Figueroa-Rosario allegedly responded to the post office to collect the package. On Tuesday afternoon, a Postal Service Inspection undercover agent returned to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence to deliver the package. Figueroa-Rosario was arrested after allegedly accepting the package.
A short time after the package was delivered, U.S. Postal Inspectors and members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force executed a court-authorized search of the residence. Law enforcement allegedly seized, among other items, evidence of packages shipped from Puerto Rico to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence and $6,500 in cash hidden in a floor vent.
Figueroa-Rosario was charged and ordered detained in federal custody on a federal criminal complaint charging him with attempted possession with attempt to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Delaney Deleon-Colon, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
A criminal 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.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.