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Press Release

Providence Man Indicted for Trafficking Heroin, Fentanyl, Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A federal grand jury in Providence on Tuesday returned a four-count indictment charging Ronny B. Nova, a/k/a Benancio, 31, of Providence, with trafficking cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.


It is alleged in court documents that the seizure of substantial quantities of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine from a Cranston apartment in November 2015, and the seizure of 6 kilograms of fentanyl by Missouri State Police during a traffic stop of a rental truck headed for Rhode Island approximately three weeks ago have been tied to Nova’s alleged drug trafficking activities.


Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division announce the indictment of Ronny B. Nova on one count each of possession with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, possession with the intent to distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl, attempt to possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl, and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.


According to court documents, it is alleged that on November 17, 2015, an investigation into Nova’s drug trafficking activities included the purchase of 2.5 grams of heroin from Nova. Three days later, members of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force executed a federal court authorized search of a residence with ties to Nova. Law enforcement seized 2,269.3 grams of cocaine, 1,954.1 grams of heroin, 348.4 grams of fentanyl, and 268.2 grams of acetaminophen.


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


According to court documents, the DEA obtained a similar rental truck in Rhode Island, and on August 23 an undercover law enforcement officer, posing as the truck driver arrested in Missouri, drove the truck to the same location the truck allegedly carrying the fentanyl was to have been brought. Law enforcement watched as a vehicle entered the area and the driver surveilled the truck without leaving his vehicle. Shortly after, the undercover officer posing as the person instructed to drive the truck containing the fentanyl to Warwick, received a call and was directed to a different parking lot nearby. When the truck arrived at the second location, the same vehicle arrived and the driver, later identified as Ronny Nova, exited the vehicle and began to approach the truck. As he did so, law enforcement moved in and surrounded him. Nova allegedly tried to flee on foot but was detained a short distance away.


An indictment 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. Attorneys Paul F. Daly and William J. Ferland.

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



Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
on Twitter @USAO_RI

Updated September 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 17-111