PROVIDENCE – The second of two Florida men charged with trafficking more than 5 kilograms of cocaine through the U.S. Postal Service into Rhode Island from Puerto Rico pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Gabriel Conception, 28, of Kissimmee, FL, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Joseph W. Cronin, and Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
Conception admitted to the Court that he conspired with Rinaxo Rufino, 34, of Miramar, FL, to receive at least three multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine shipped through the U.S. Postal Service from Puerto Rico to residences in Central Falls and Cumberland. Each shipment contained approximately three kilograms of cocaine.
The packages were intercepted and seized by U.S. Postal Inspectors prior to delivery to the intended recipients. The two men were arrested on August 26, 2017, by U.S. Postal Inspectors and members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task.
Rufino was arrested when he attempted to retrieve a package containing 3,029 grams of cocaine addressed to a Central Falls residence. U.S. Postal Inspectors identified cocaine in the package prior to delivery and removed the controlled substance. In its place inspectors placed similarly weighted non-contraband material. Concepcion was arrested moments later in the vicinity of the residence.
Additionally, as part of the investigation into Concepcion and Rufino’s drug trafficking activities, a package addressed for delivery to a residence in Cumberland that contained approximately 3007.2 grams of cocaine was seized by Postal Inspectors on August 25, 2017. Another package addressed for delivery to a Central Falls residence which contained approximately 3006.9 grams of cocaine was seized by Postal Inspectors on August 28, 2017.
Rinaxo Rufino is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on December 12, 2018. Gabriel Concepcion is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2019.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.