News Release
June 23, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Heroin Dealer Pleads Guilty to 2nd Drug Dealing Offense; Faces Additional Imprisonment for Violating Supervised Release

JUN 23 -- Providence, R.I. – A Pawtucket man already serving a federal sentence for dealing crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. Benny Vasconcelos, 27, was on supervised release when he was arrested on the most recent drug dealing charge in January 2010.

 Vasconcelos’ guilty plea was announced by Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which was entered before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan told the court, had the matter gone to trial, the government would have presented evidence that on January 11, 2010, investigating officers involved in a lengthy investigation watched Vasconcelos as he entered and left his home, and watched as he conducted a suspected drug sale in public.  The drug customer was intercepted and surrendered two small packages of heroin to law enforcement officers, which he said he had just purchased from Vasconcelos.

Later that day, search warrants were executed at Vasconcelos’ Pawtucket residence and at the residence of a friend in Cumberland. At the Pawtucket home, officers seized 45 individually packaged bags of heroin, cutting agents, packaging materials, and $16,138 in cash. At the Cumberland home, officers seized an additional $6,440 in cash believed to have been realized from the sale of heroin.

Vasconcelos is scheduled to be sentenced on October 8, 2010. He faces a maximum sentence of  20 years imprisonment and supervised release for life on the most recent charge; and up to 30 months imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release.

Vasconcelos was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release in January 2005 on the firearm and cocaine charges.

The matter was investigated by the DEA Drug Task Force, Pawtucket Police and Cumberland Police.