Tiverton Resident Faces Up To Life In Federal Prison On Drug Trafficking, Firearm Charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ian D. Andrade, 37, of Tiverton, faces statutory penalties of up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on August 7, 2014, having pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trafficking cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva.
Andrade was arrested by Newport Police on November 8, 2013, after officers stopped and executed a court authorized search of Andrade’s vehicle which resulted in the seizure of approximately 400 grams of cocaine packaged for sale, a loaded firearm and more than $4,400 in cash.
According to information presented to the court, during the fall of 2013, members of the Newport Police Department Vice Unit were conducting an investigation into Andrade’s alleged drug trafficking activities. Detectives developed information that Andrade was using a vehicle with a hidden compartment inside to facilitate his drug trafficking activities.
According to information presented to the court, on November 8, 2013, members of the Newport Police Department observed Andrade and a juvenile female, his girlfriend’s daughter, enter the vehicle outside a Newport residence and drive away. A uniformed Newport Police officer stopped the vehicle a short time later and advised Andrade of a court authorized search warrant for the vehicle. Andrade turned over two envelopes containing $4,435 in cash.
According to information presented to the court, the vehicle was towed to the Newport Police Department and searched. Investigators seized a loaded handgun and a plastic container with approximately 400 grams of cocaine packaged for sale in quantities consistent with distribution from inside a hidden compartment located behind the front passenger seat.
According to information presented to the court, after being advised of his constitutional rights, Andrade made a recorded statement to investigators admitting to possessing the cocaine and the firearm seized from the vehicle. Andrade told investigators that he used the firearm to protect his drugs. He also stated that the $4,435 in cash seized was drug money.
Possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute is punishable by a statutory penalty up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in federal prison, to run consecutive to the sentence imposed for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin.
The Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force assisted Newport Police in this matter.
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/