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Press Release

Providence Woman Sentenced for Trafficking Cocaine

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

PROVIDENCE – A Providence woman who was riding as a passenger in a vehicle she owned that was stopped by Rhode Island State Police in February 2017 and found to be carrying five kilograms of cocaine stashed inside a hidden compartment under the rear floor has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for trafficking the cocaine.

Laura G. Martinez, 25, pleaded guilty on October 15, 2018, to conspiracy with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

According to information presented to the Court, on February 17, 2017, a Rhode Island State Police trooper stopped Martinez’s vehicle after the driver failed to move out of the left lane of travel, during which the adjacent right lane was free of traffic. The trooper ordered the vehicle towed after it was determined that both the driver and Martinez’s driver’s license had been suspended. During an inventory of the vehicle, troopers discovered numerous aftermarket modifications that had been made to the underside of the vehicle. Further inspection revealed a false floor. A Rhode Island State Police K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the area of the false floor. A trap door allowing access to the false floor was opened. Inside, troopers discovered 5.018 kilograms of cocaine.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith sentenced Martinez to 60 months in prison to be followed by 4 years supervised release.

Martinez’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni, and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald R. Gendron and Dulce Donovan.

The matter was investigated by the Rhode Island State Police and Homeland Security Investigations.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated June 24, 2019

Topic
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-79