Providence Man Sentenced for Trafficking Opioid Addiction Medication Suboxone and Cocaine
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
U.S. Postal Service Inspectors interrupted delivery of 50 doses of Suboxone, a medication used for treatment of heroin and opioid dependence
PROVIDENCE, RI – Hector M. Figueroa, 34 of Providence, was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison today for attempting to receive 50 doses of Suboxone, a prescription medicine for treatment of opioid addiction, and for possessing approximately 300 grams of cocaine.
Suboxone, a controlled substance, helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings for opioids by tricking the brain into thinking that the individual has used heroin or oxycodone.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith ordered Figueroa to also serve 3 years of federal supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration. Figueroa pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017, to a two-count information charging him with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute buprenorphine (Suboxone). The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range of imprisonment in this matter is 46-57 months. The government recommended the court impose a sentence of 45 months in prison.
Figueroa will begin serving his sentence after he completes serving a 15-month prison sentence imposed on October 5, 2017, for violating terms of supervised release on a previous federal conviction for trafficking heroin.
Hector Figueroa’s sentence is announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Boston Division; and Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
According to information presented to the Court, on March 28, 2017, U.S. Postal Inspectors executed a court-authorized search warrant on a package addressed to the defendant. The package contained 50 Suboxone strips. U.S. Postal Inspectors then obtained an anticipatory court authorized search warrant for Figueroa’s residence. After the package was delivered and accepted by the defendant’s father on March 29, the federal search warrant was executed and the package was seized. During the search of the residence, U.S. Postal Inspectors and members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force discovered and seized approximately 300 grams of cocaine, drug packaging paraphernalia and $17,000 in cash.
Figueroa was not at his residence at the time of the search and an arrest warrant was issued for him. After attempting repeatedly to locate Figueroa, the U.S. Marshals and Rhode Island States Police Fugitive Task Force arrested the defendant in late July. He has been detained since his arrest.
Previously, officers of the U.S. Customs and Border in San Juan, Puerto Ricco assisted the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with the seizure of two packages which led to the discovery and seizure of approximately $16,000 in U.S. currency. A review of video surveillance at two difference post offices by U.S. Postal inspectors determined that the packages were mailed by Hector Figueroa.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
Updated December 19, 2017
Press Release Number: 17-150