A man has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking charges in relation to the seizure of 65 kilos of cocaine and more than $1.2 million in cash in Providence, R.I., in January 2011. The seizure was the largest cocaine seizure ever in the state, officials said.
In September 2010, law enforcement agents learned information about cocaine being trafficked into the state, which prompted investigators to monitor activity at several Providence hotels, vehicles and a storage facility in Providence. Several months later, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant which resulted in the seizure of the cocaine and cash.
“[The Drug Enforcement Administration] and our law enforcement partners are committed to dismantling criminal organizations by arresting and convicting their members and seizing their assets,” said Kevin Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England. “In this investigation we accomplished both goals. Any time we seize kilogram quantities of cocaine and over a million dollars in cash we are disrupting these organizations. We would like to commend the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement partners during this investigation.”
Andrew Rios pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11, 2013. Rios’ co-defendants, Rodrigo Armando Saucedo and Adilson Antonio Reyes previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
“Make no mistake: left unchecked, major narcotics trafficking organizations like this one would wreak their havoc in every state, city or town in which there is money to be made,” said U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha. “Rhode Island is no exception.”