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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 23, 2015

Two Sentenced In International Heroin, Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy





PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Alexander Tovar, 26, and Miguel Valentin, 30, of Providence, have been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for their participation in a heroin and cocaine trafficking conspiracy, that ended with the seizure of more than 486 grams of heroin and 462 grams of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England.

At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Tovar to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Tovar pleaded guilty on September 12, 2014, to one count each of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

On November 14, 2014, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith sentenced Miguel Valentin to 5 years in federal prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release. He pleaded guilty on July 31, 2014, to one count each of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

According to court documents and information presented to the court, on December 21, 2013, a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent inspecting packages arriving in the United States from Venezuela discovered two similar packages, one containing 486.4 grams of heroin and the other containing 462.2 grams of cocaine. The packages were addressed for delivery to separate Boston area residences. CBP shipped both packages to Boston where they were turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division of Homeland Security.

On December 26, 2013, following two failed attempts by HSI Task Force undercover agents and Massachusetts State Police to deliver the package containing the heroin to the addressee, the package was returned to the shipping company office. While attempting to deliver the package, law enforcement spotted a vehicle with Rhode Island license plates and the two defendants. During the second attempted delivery, Valentin approached the delivery truck attempting to accept delivery of the package. He was refused delivery because he was not the addressee and could not prove he was authorized to accept delivery. Valentin then left the area in the vehicle with Rhode Island plates, being driven by Tovar.

According to information presented to the court, later the same day, the delivery company notified law enforcement that a person purporting to be the addressee called the delivery company and authorized release of his package to Miguel Valentin. The shipping company also received a telephone call requesting that the second package be released to a female whose name was provided to the shipping company. The next morning, Valentin arrived in a vehicle which also contained the female authorized to receive the package. Valentin went inside and accepted delivery from undercover agents who were posing as shipping company employees. Valentin was detained as he left the building.

Subsequent to Valentin’s arrest, HSI agents arranged to have the packages forwarded to Alexander Tovar. Tovar was observed by investigators taking receipt of the packages in Providence and was arrested.
The defendants have been detained in federal custody since their arrest.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.

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Updated June 22, 2015