PROVIDENCE, RI. – Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that senior drug prosecutors from both offices will jointly prosecute in federal court three defendants who were arrested in January when local, state and federal law enforcement officers seized more than 65 kilos of cocaine and nearly $1.25 million in cash in North Kingstown. The arrests and seizures were part of an on-going multi-agency federal, state and local law enforcement investigation of a cocaine trafficking ring operating in Rhode Island and elsewhere.
Federal criminal complaints were issued Wednesday against Armando Saucedo, 30, and Andrew Rios, 39, of California, and Adilson Antonio Reyes, 29, of Utah, charging each with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The defendants, who were previously held without bail in state custody on charges of conspiracy, possession, and possession to distribute more than one kilogram of cocaine, are now being held on federal detainers. No date has been set for their initial appearance in federal court.
Assistant Attorney General Paul F. Daly, Jr., Chief of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Narcotics Unit, will be cross-designated as a federal prosecutor and will join Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hebert in the federal prosecution.
In September 2010, federal, state and local law enforcement agents, working in conjunction with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, developed information about the trafficking of cocaine from outside Rhode Island into the state, which led investigators to monitor activity at hotels in West Greenwich and Pawtucket, several vehicles and a storage facility in North Kingstown. In January, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office secured search warrants which law enforcement agents executed and seized 65.07 kilos of cocaine and $1,245,100 in cash from two vehicles and a storage facility in North Kingstown.
The matter was investigated by the DEA, Rhode Island State Police, and officers from the Warwick, Woonsocket, and East Providence Police Departments.