Two Plead Guilty, Face Up To Life In Federal Prison In Record Seizure Of 19 Kilos Of Heroin
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Jorge Daniel Estrada of Providence, R.I., and Angel Feliz of Dorchester, Mass., face up to life in federal prison, after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to drug trafficking charges in connection with the single largest seizure of pure heroin from the streets of Rhode Island.
The seizure of 19 kilos of pure heroin valued at approximately $4.5 million, and the arrest of Estrada and Feliz in October 2012, was prompted by information developed by Providence Police detectives during an on-going investigation into street-level drug dealing. A joint investigation by Providence Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Task Force resulted in the seizure of the heroin and the arrest of Estrada and Feliz.
Estrada pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, punishable by a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison; up to a term of supervise release for life, with a minimum mandatory term of 5 years; and a fine of up to $10,000,000.
Feliz pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, punishable by a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison; up to a term of supervise release for life, with a minimum mandatory term of 5 years; and a fine of up to $10,000,000.
The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.; John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New England Field Division; and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin
According to information provided to the court, an individual previously arrested by Providence Police for the alleged possession of narcotics agreed to cooperate with law enforcement to arrange controlled deliveries of heroin. Two deliveries of a kilo of heroin took place on the evening of October 23, 2012, and on the following afternoon, witnessed by a team of law enforcement agents and officers from the DEA Drug Task Force and Providence Police. The drugs were quickly seized by law enforcement.
Later in the day on October 24, 2012, the informant working with law enforcement received a call and was provided with a location to meet with a person who would be traveling from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to pick-up the two kilos of heroin. Law enforcement provided the informant with two fake kilos of heroin and watched as the delivery was made.
A search of Estrada’s Providence residence resulted in the seizure of an additional 17 kilos of heroin.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
Estrada is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi on April 18, 2013. Feliz is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9, 2013.