News Release
January 30, 2007

Two Plead Guilty in Prospect Heights Drug Trafficking, Gang Investigation

JAN 30 -- Samuel Ross, 27, and Jorge Henriquez, 22, have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from an investigation into drug trafficking in the Prospect Heights housing project in Pawtucket, some of it involving alleged members of a local street gang.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Robert Clark Corrente announced the guilty pleas, which the defendants entered separately before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in U.S. District Court, Providence.

Yesterday, Ross, of Pawtucket, pleaded guilty to distributing 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Lee H. Vilker said that the government could prove that, on June 23, Ross sold about 61 grams of crack cocaine and a 9-millimeter pistol to a man for $2,500.

On January 23, Henriquez, of Central Falls, pleaded guilty to two charges: distributing at least 50 grams of crack cocaine on one occasion, and distributing at least five grams of crack on another. At that hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose said that the government could prove that Henriquez sold 54 grams of crack on August 8 for $1,600 and that, on August 23, he sold 26 grams of crack for $300. The government also has evidence identifying Henriquez as a member of a street gang known as the Prospect Heights Posse.

Both men are detained pending sentencing. The charges against both have a maximum penalty of life in prison plus a $4,000,000 fine, with a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison. Henriquez is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20, and Ross on May 4.

Federal charges are pending against five other defendants arrested as a result of the ten-month investigation, which was led by Pawtucket Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. The U.S. Marshals Service also participated. Detectives from the Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, East Providence, Warwick, Middletown and Bristol police departments are assigned to the DEA Task Force.