PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal investigation into the trafficking of heroin by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) R.I. Drug Task Force resulted in the arrest Wednesday of a Cranston man and the seizure of more than a half kilogram of heroin; two firearms; and an assortment of ammunition. Able Perez, 30, was ordered detained Wednesday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin on a Complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute and the distribution of heroin; being a felon in possession of a firearm; and being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
The arrest and detention of Perez was announced by Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division of the DEA and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. According to court documents and information presented to the Court, beginning in April 2011, law enforcement agents assigned to the DEA Drug Task Force in Rhode Island allegedly made several undercover controlled purchases of varying amounts of heroin from Perez for between $2,500 and $4,000.
In late July and early September, arrangements were allegedly made to purchase a significant quantity of heroin from Perez for $9,200. On the day of the scheduled purchase, a team of DEA Task Force agents watched Perez as he entered his Cranston residence empty handed, exiting a short time later allegedly carrying a paper bag which he then placed onto the front seat of his vehicle. Perez was immediately surrounded and detained by DEA Task Force agents and allegedly admitted the bag in the vehicle contained heroin. Perez consented to a search of the vehicle and his two residences, the one he had just exited from and another in Johnston.
In searching the vehicle, agents allegedly found more than 100 grams of heroin in the bag they saw placed on the front seat; and 400 grams of heroin and a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun in a secret compartment behind the radio. A search of Perez’s residences and a garage used by Perez turned up additional quantities of heroin, about $7,000 in cash, a .357 revolver, and an assortment of ammunition.
Perez was previously convicted of felony drug charges in Rhode Island state court.
A Complaintis merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein.
The Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force is comprised of agents and law enforcement officers from the DEA, ATF, IRS, ICE, Rhode Island State Police, and Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Newport, Warwick and Woonsocket police departments.