News Release
May 21, 2007

100 Grams of Crack Leads to a Ten-Year Prison Sentence

MAY 21 -- A federal judge today sentenced Rafael Diaz, 32, of Providence, to ten years in federal prison for trafficking in about 100 grams of crack cocaine and about 155 grams of powder cocaine. DEA Task Force agents seized the drugs from Diaz’s apartment as he and a woman were trying to flush some of it down a toilet.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Robert Clark Corrente announced the sentence, which Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi imposed today in U.S. District Court, Providence.

In February, Diaz pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, and possessing with intent to distribute powder cocaine. At the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Zechariah Chafee said the government could prove that, on October 13, 2006, DEA agents obtained a search warrant for Diaz’s second floor apartment on Montrose Street. After they observed Diaz make what appeared to be a drug deal on the porch of the house, agents approached the house, whereupon Diaz ran upstairs to his apartment, yelling, “Police, Police!”

Diaz ran into the bathroom of his apartment and blocked the door with his weight, which agents estimated to be well over 300 pounds. Agents could hear the sound of flushing, and agents stationed outside the house saw a woman toss a bag out the bathroom window onto a roof.

When agents finally forced the door open, they saw a woman flushing bags of cocaine down the toilet. After a struggle with Diaz, agents managed to retrieve the bags of drugs. From the toilet, as well as elsewhere in the apartment, agents seized a total of 100 grams of crack cocaine and 155 grams of powder cocaine, as well as drug trafficking materials.

The DEA Task Force consists of detectives from the Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, East Providence, Warwick, Middletown, and Bristol police departments.

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