OCT 18 (PROVIDENCE, R.I.) - Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for New England Kevin L. Lane; United States Attorney for Rhode Island Peter F. Neronha; and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King announced that Audi Pineda, 38, of Pawtucket, was convicted by a federal court jury on Wednesday of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone.
Pineda was arrested in August 2011, following an undercover investigation by Pawtucket Police and the DEA Drug Task Force into Pineda’s suspected drug dealing activities. A court authorized search of Pineda’s place of employment and his residence resulted in the seizure of oxycodone pills, cocaine and cash. The jury acquitted Pineda of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
Pineda faces a maximum sentence of forty years in federal prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell on January 16, 2013.
During the two-day trial, the government presented evidence to the jury that on August 11, 2011, Pawtucket Police detectives and agents from the DEA Drug Task Force conducted court authorized searches in Pawtucket of a barber shop where Pineda was employed and at his residence. At the barber shop, 33 oxycodone pills and three cell phones were seized from Pineda and his work station. Pineda was seated in the barber chair in his work station when officers and agents entered the business.
Shortly after searching the barber shop, a court authorized search of Pineda’s residence resulted in the discovery of a hidden compartment built into a basement wall which contained more than twelve grams of cocaine. In addition, in a void space in a wall near a ground floor bathroom, agents found a plastic bag containing $36,000 in U.S. currency.
The government also presented evidence to the jury of several cell phone text message conversations between Pineda and others on the cell phones seized which detailed drug dealing activities by Pineda.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah, and law enforcement officers and agents from the Pawtucket Police Department and the DEA Drug Task Force for their efforts investigating and prosecuting this matter.