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Press Release

West Warwick Man Charged with Distribution of Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
Massachusetts man became unresponsive and died after ingesting one half of one pill allegedly sold to him by the defendant

PROVIDENCE – An information was filed in U.S. District Court in Providence today charging David Grimaldi, 23, of West Warwick, with distribution of fentanyl.

It is alleged in court documents that Nicholas Bateman, 27, of Rochester, Mass., ingested one half of one of three pills allegedly sold to him by Grimaldi on July 1, 2017, and quickly became unresponsive. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Kent Hospital.

A subsequent autopsy established the presence of alcohol and fentanyl in the blood of Bateman. The Rhode Island Medical Examiner determined that Bateman died as a result of the toxic effects of alcohol and fentanyl.

According to court documents, the three pills allegedly sold by Grimaldi to Bateman were manufactured to appear to be 30 mg. Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets. DEA forensic testing established the pills contained fentanyl.

According to a plea agreement filed in this matter, the government will argue at sentencing that the death of Nicholas Bateman resulted from the conduct of David Grimaldi.

The filing of an information charging David Grimaldi with distribution of fentanyl is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, West Warwick Police Chief Colonel Mark A. Knott, and Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division Brian D. Boyle.

An information is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Distribution of fentanyl is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment followed by lifetime supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000.

Grimaldi will be arraigned in U.S. District Court on a date to be established by the Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.

The matter was investigated by the West Warwick Police Department and the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated August 27, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-106