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Press Release

Providence Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison

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

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man who took delivery of a locked case inside of which he expected to find thirteen kilos of cocaine, and who later participated in a scheme to smuggle contraband into the Wyatt Detention Center has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Emmanuel Nolasco, 37, previously admitted to a federal judge that, in June 2020, he travelled to Los Angeles where he obtained thirteen kilograms of cocaine that he stored inside a locked carrying case.  Nolasco then hired an individual to drive the drugs to Rhode Island and deliver them to him at his Providence residence.

According to information presented to the court, while en route to Rhode Island, the vehicle in which the cocaine was being transported was stopped by local police in Texas for a traffic violation. The police notified DEA agents in Texas of their discovery, and DEA agents in Texas and in Providence arranged for the driver continue driving to Providence to deliver the storage case which now contained thirteen replica “kilos” of cocaine. Upon delivery of the case to Nolasco on June 22, 2020, DEA agents arrested Nolasco and executed a court-authorized search of his residence, seizing four kilograms of heroin, three kilograms of various cutting agents, two loaded firearms, $108,760 in cash, a kilo press; a Porsche automobile, and various items used in the packaging and sale of drugs.

In a separate matter, Nolasco admitted to the court that while being detained at the Wyatt Detention Center he participated in a scheme to smuggle contraband into the detention center. On February 15, 2021, members of the Wyatt Detention Center Professional Standards Unit searched Nolasco’s cell and seized controlled substances.

On June 22, 2023, Nolasco pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute heroin; two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; two counts of possession with intent to distribute suboxone; and possession of contraband by an inmate. He was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 108 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release. At the government’s request, the court ordered Nolasco to forfeit to the government the $108,760 in cash, the two loaded firearms and a Porsche Panamera seized at the time of his arrest.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.



Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated November 6, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 23-115