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Justice News

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

Friday, June 12, 2020

Woonsocket Barber Sentenced for Trafficking Cocaine

PROVIDENCE – A Woonsocket barber who admitted to preparing and selling crack cocaine in and around his barbershop, among other places, was sentenced today to five years in federal prison.

In March 2019, members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force opened an investigation into the alleged drug dealing of Jason Simpson, 34, and two other men, James Ruth, 31, and Sean Breton, 27. The investigation included electronically monitored controlled purchases of more than 41 grams of crack cocaine.

According to information presented to the court, on July 2, 2019, agents and officers executed a court-authorized search of Simpson’s barbershop and seized a 9mm pistol and two pistol magazines with ammunition. The seized items were found hidden inside a printer.

Simpson pleaded guilty on October 9, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith sentenced Simpson to 60 months incarceration to be followed by four years supervised release.

Simpson’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

James Ruth pleaded guilty on October 22, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, and four counts of distribution of cocaine base. He was sentenced on February 6, 2020, to 77 months in federal prison.

Sean Breton pleaded guilty on November 8, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. He is awaiting sentencing.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine D. Lowell and Sandra R. Hebert.


Drug Trafficking
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
Updated June 12, 2020