Providence Man Sentenced for Being a Felon in Possession of Firearms, Including Three Ghost Guns, and Making False Statements to a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer
PROVIDENCE – An investigation by U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Inspectors and members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force has resulted in the seizure of more than 12 kilograms of cocaine allegedly shipped to Rhode Island from Puerto Rico, and the arrest and federal detention of two Florida men.
The two men, Rinaxo M. Rufino, 33, of Miramar, FL., and Gabriel Concepcion, 27, of Kissimmee, FL., arrested on August 26, 2017, were ordered detained in federal custody following initial appearances on Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence.
Acting United States 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 announce the arrest and detention of Rufino and Concepcion on criminal complaints charging each with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Additionally, Concepcion is charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Since August 7, 2017, USPIS Inspectors have intercepted three shipments of cocaine in various sized packages allegedly shipped from Puerto Rico to addresses in Providence, Woonsocket and Central Falls. Each of the packages were addressed to individuals not associated with the address to which the packages were shipped. In each instance, a police K-9 detected the odor of narcotics in each package prior to delivery. The packages were seized by law enforcement.
Rinaxo M. Rufino was arrested on August 26, moments after he allegedly took possession of a package he believed to contain approximately 3 kilograms of cocaine at a Central Falls residence. Gabriel Concepcion was arrested moments later after he was stopped by a Rhode Island State Police Trooper as he allegedly drove away from the area of the residence. A loaded firearm was allegedly located in Conception’s vehicle.
It is alleged in court documents that Rufino and Concepcion, who had been under law enforcement surveillance for some time, were seen surveilling the area of the Central Falls residence prior to and after the package was left on the doorstep of the residence by a U.S. Postal carrier. Prior to the delivery of the package, USPIS Inspectors had removed the cocaine.
Earlier in the investigation, USPIS Postal Inspectors in Providence took custody of packages allegedly containing cocaine, which were earmarked for delivery to residences in Providence and Woonsocket. In each instance, a police K-9 allegedly detected the odor of narcotics in each package.
On August 4, 2017, USPIS Inspectors took possession of a package addressed to a residence in Providence. The package allegedly contained 8.16 kilograms of cocaine. On August 10, USPIS Inspectors took possession of a package addressed to a residence in Woonsocket. The package allegedly contained 1.2 kilograms of cocaine.
According to court documents, the investigation began in April 2017, when a package mailed from Providence to Puerto Rico was intercepted by USPIS Inspectors after a police K-9 allegedly reacted positively for the presence of the odor of narcotics. Acting on a federal court authorized search warrant, postal inspectors opened the package and discovered $58,010 in cash.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch acknowledges and thanks the Cranston Police Department and Rhode Island State Police K-9 Units for their assistance in this investigation.
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
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