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Press Release

Providence Man Sentenced for Trafficking Cocaine

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

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man who admitted to importing cocaine from Puerto Rico into Rhode Island through the U.S. Postal Service and, in return, shipping back large sums of cash to a cocaine distributor in Puerto Rico was sentenced today to one year and one day in federal prison.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Eliot Figueroa-Rosario, 45, was also ordered to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration and to forfeit $32,500 seized by law enforcement. Figueroa-Rosario pleaded guilty on December 7, 2018, to attempted possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Figueroa-Rosario’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division.

According to court documents, in May 2017 and May 2018, Figueroa-Rosario was 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 Providence residence was intercepted from the mail stream at the P&DC. The package was examined by a Rhode Island State Police K-9, which detected the presence of a narcotic odor. A court-authorized inspection of the contents of the package revealed 1160 grams of cocaine.

Several days later a Postal Service Inspection undercover agent delivered the package to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence. Figueroa-Rosario accepted the package and was arrested. A court-authorized search of the residence by U.S. Postal Inspectors and members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force resulted in the seizure of, among other items, evidence of packages shipped from Puerto Rico to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence and $6,500 in cash found hidden in a floor vent.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated May 6, 2019

Topic
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-54